DCF: 2 kids taken from home after brother drowns

Children now in protective services, DCF says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two siblings of the 6-year-old who drowned in a Westside retention pond earlier this month were taken out of their home and into protective services last week, the Department of Children and Families said Friday.

Jamarion Lee was playing with his 8-year-old brother when he slipped into a retention pond off Nolan Street, police said. His brother ran for help, but by the time rescuers got to him, it was too late.

The action was taken by DCF a week before of Jamarion’s viewing, which was held Friday night.

Family said they’re still devastated about the boy’s death.

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“I want to thank the community for the prayers, because we need strength with this situation, and that’s something that we’re going to always need. That was my first grandson,” said Carl Howell, Jamarion’s grandfather.

When News4Jax asked Howell how the other children were doing, he did not wish to comment. But he said the family is really hurting inside right now.

“The family is going through the real grief and pain, because our grandson was so lovable. And to hear on Mother's Day, I'm having a great day with my mother and to get the call that he drowned in the pond was just unreal,” Howell said.

DCF spokesperson John Harrell told News4Jax that DCF takes children out of the home less than 10 percent of the time, and there has to be evidence that the children are in danger due to abuse or neglect.

Harrell said they cannot release the children’s names and ages because of to privacy laws.

The funeral for Jamarion will be held Saturday.