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Police: Foul play not suspected in child's apparent drowning

"Full investigation" under way in death of 7-year-old found unconscious while taking bath

April 05, 2013|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • A child's swingset and toys can be seen in the backyard of 425 Summit Ave. in Hagerstown, where police say a 7-year-old boy apparent drowned Thursday evening in a bathtub.
By Dan Dearth/Reporter

Hagerstown’s police chief said officers did not suspect foul play in the death of a 7-year-old boy who apparently drowned Thursday evening in the bathtub of his family’s home at 425 Summit Ave.

Police said Friday morning that the death of Nicodemus Kemp was being investigated by the Hagerstown Police Department, Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office and Washington County Child Advocacy Center.

“There was nothing apparent at the scene that made it look like a suspicious death, but we’re conducting a full investigation,” Police Chief Mark Holtzman said.

The youngster was taking a bath in the downstairs portion of the two-story duplex shortly before 7 p.m. when he was found unconscious and unresponsive, according to information provided by Holtzman and a police department news release.

Holtzman said officers gave the child cardiopulmonary resuscitation until paramedics arrived. He said an ambulance took the boy to Meritus Medical Center east of Hagerstown, where he was pronounced dead.

Further information would be known after an autopsy is conducted at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, Holtzman said.

He said emotions ran high at the scene Thursday evening because officers were trying to calm upset family members while giving first aid to the child.

“Obviously, the family was very upset when police and EMS were arriving,” he said.

Holtzman said the child was living at the home with his mother and father.

The child was a first-grader at Rockland Woods Elementary School south of Hagerstown, according to Washington County Public Schools spokesman Richard Wright.

Wright said grief counselors were at the school Friday to provide assistance to students and faculty.

He said letters would be sent home with the students Friday to let parents know that grief counselors were available.

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