2-year-old boy drowns in pool at Westside home, police say

Child dies after being pulled from pool at home off Argyle Forest Boulevard

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 2-year-old boy drowned Saturday afternoon after he wandered into the pool at his Westside home, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

The boy's father and stepmother were with him at the home on Hamden Circle West off Argyle Forest Boulevard, police said.

His father told News4Jax his name was Colton Holbrook.

JSO Sgt. Chuck Ford said that at about 2:19 p.m. Saturday the boy's father checked on him, thinking the toddler was asleep in his room. When he wasn't there, the father looked for him and found the boy in the backyard pool, quickly pulling him out and beginning CPR.

When firefighters arrived, they continued CPR and took the boy to Orange Park Medical Center, where he died, Ford said.

Police said the in-ground pool was gated and there were several obstacles to the child getting to the pool, but they were ones the toddler could get through, like a screen door.

Michael Holbrook, the boy's father, has a message for other parents.

"Please keep your kids away from pools. No matter if it's for one minute, they can drown in one minute," Holbrook said. "Colton was the joy of my life. He was smart as a whip. He had always been a good baby. I always tried my best to keep him safe."

Holbrook lost his baby son Saturday, years after losing his oldest son in a car wreck. He said the pain is unbearable, knowing his baby is the eighth child to drown in Northeast Florida this year.

News4Jax looked at drownings over the last six years and found 43 reported to the Department of Children and Families since 2012.

Fighting through tears, Holbrook said no family should have to deal with the loss he's feeling.

"It's a tragic accident. It happened to me. It's happened before, and it will happen again," Holbrook said. "Please take care of your kids and keep them safe."

Ford said police are investigating the incident, but no foul play is suspected. The Department of Children and Families will be notified.

News4Jax went to its crime and safety analyst, Gil Smith, to find out how and why police have determined that. Gil said typically if the pool area meets Florida statute, no foul play is suspected.

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