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Apparent drowning of baby investigated

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – A 7-month-old boy apparently drowned in a bathtub Tuesday night in Middleburg, according to the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Dylan Travis Wroubel was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital Clay County, where he died, deputies said.

The boy's mother, Jennifer Wroubel, told police the she was giving her son a bath just after 7 p.m. and he was crying, so she got into the tub with him. Dylan was then given a bath and played with his mother for about 15 minutes in the tub, deputies said.

Wroubel, 28, told deputies she fell asleep with Dylan in the bathtub, woke up and saw him floating in the tub. She pulled him out of the bath, called 911 and performed chest compressions.

Fire rescue workers arrived and took Dylan to the hospital, where he died.

“Every child death is a tragedy, and we are investigating this case thoroughly,”  Department of Children and Families spokesman John Harrell said. “We don’t want to jump to any conclusions. We do need to investigate all child deaths thoroughly. We owe that to the child, to the memory of the child, to investigate thoroughly, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Deputies said no trauma was observed after Dylan was examined at the hospital. The medical examiner’s office will perform an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Harrell said it would be up to law enforcement to decide whether or not to press charges in the case.

He emphasized the tragic nature of child drowning deaths and how most can be prevented.

“It is one of the leading causes of child deaths in Florida,” Harrell said. “What parents can do to ensure that their children don’t suffer this sort of tragedy is to make sure they are carefully and actively watching their children at all times, whether it be in the bathtub, whether it be pools, because we’re getting into the summer pool season now. ... It only takes a few moments for a tragedy to happen.”

Harrell encouraged parents who feel tired or struggle to keep an eye on their children to reach out to trusted friends and family.

He also said it's up to anyone who sees potential abuse or neglect of a child to report it immediately.

“If anybody suspects that a child is being not only abused but neglected, they are required by law to call the Florida abuse hotline,” Harrell said. “That hotline is a way for parents to get help but additionally to help children, most importantly, if they’re being neglected, if they’re not being properly supervised.”

The 24/7 hotline number is 1-800-96ABUSE. Tips are anonymous.