3-year-old boy found dead in pool, Caldwell County deputies say

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. — Deputies are investigating the death of a 3-year-old who was found in a pool at a Caldwell County home, according to the sheriff’s office.

The boy was found in the above-ground pool at a home on Woodmont Court South in Lenoir early Sunday morning, investigators said. Firefighters in the Gamewell community who responded to the call said the child had been pulled from the pool when they arrived.

Family members told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty that he somehow got out of the house during the night, and his mother found him in the pool the next morning.

The boy’s mother told Faherty that they had a child-proof safety latch on the back door and had plans to add fencing around the pool and an alarm, which is about 4 feet deep. She also said there was a gate on the back porch leading to the pool.

“Don’t blink. If you blink, your kids can be gone,” she said. “Make sure your pool is secure. Make sure your house is secure. I don’t want another family feeling this pain.”

Deputies said their investigation is ongoing and they’re waiting on autopsy results.

Gamewell firefighters encouraged families to put precautions in place before their children swim this summer.

“Secure your gate,” Chief Michael Brewer said. “Make sure that you do know who is coming in and going out. With children, obviously proper floatation devices.”

The CDC says more children ages 1 to 4 years old die from drowning than any other cause.

Kevin Jones owns an above-ground pool that has two separate fences. He said there are even floating alarms you can place in a pool alerting owners when someone has fallen in.

“Any ripple on the water, anything like that, the sensitivity is going to set off an alarm,” he said. “If I had kids, I’d definitely have that.”

More than 10 years ago, Caldwell County changed its requirements around pools, requiring fencing for in-ground pools. We have not heard of any regulations regarding above-ground pools.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: Deputies investigate drowning death at Lake James in Burke County)