10-year-old girl drowns in Broad River at Cleveland County Greenway

CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. — A 10-year-old girl died by drowning in the Broad River over the weekend after the water current pulled her and her 12-year-old sister in.

Emergency management officials say they received a call Saturday evening for a rescue call at the greenway. Crews searched the area on the south side of the Greenway Saturday until it was unsafe to continue searching.

When crews came back out Sunday morning they located the body of the victim.

Greenway officials say the victim was a young girl.

Recovery Efforts Conclude with the Retrieval of the Body of a Young Female Drowning Victim from Broad River...

Posted by Broad River Greenway on Sunday, June 9, 2024

On Monday, Channel 9′s Ken Lemon learned the victim’s name is Cedra Aabdin.

“Everything about her is special, everything,” her father, Mustafa Aabdin, said.

Mustafa told Lemon on Monday that the loss is just setting in.

“I can’t believe until now. She’s gone,” he said.

Her father told Lemon that Cedra was “always happy,” and she was happy the day she went with some family members for her first trip to the river.

“She loves the water, she likes swimming, she was happy that day, she was so happy,” Mustafa said.

At some point, the current got too strong. It pulled Cedra away, along with her 12-year-old sister and another family member.

Cedra’s dad said a bystander was able to save Cedra’s sister after the water pulled them in, but the bystander didn’t see Cedra. Mustafa said the entire family is grateful for that man’s quick action to save the 12-year-old.

Mustafa told Lemon that he drove to the river as soon as he got the call about the incident. He jumped in the water and tried to search until emergency crews forced him to get out of the water for his own safety.

“I was searching for her and the police officer tell me, ‘You have to get out of the water,’ and I couldn’t,” Mustafa said.

He said he stayed in the water for three hours while emergency crews searched until it was too dark.

Mustafa says the outpouring on social media was overwhelming for a little girl many commenters never knew, a girl who passed away on one of the happiest days of her life.

Mustafa said that joy is what he’ll miss the most.

“She was full with happiness all the time; laughing, playing, smiling,” he said.

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