Toddler Dies After Falling Into Pool at New York Day Care

NEW YORK — A 3-year-old Staten Island boy died Thursday after he was pulled from a pool at a day care center where his mother was working, fire and police officials said.

The boy, Edward Harris, was unconscious and in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived at the Mother Byrd Group Family Daycare in Mariners Harbor around 5:40 p.m., a spokeswoman for the Fire Department said. Responders tried to revive him with CPR, but he was pronounced dead at Richmond University Medical Center.

The mother’s cousin, Anjie Johnson, said that when relatives arrived at the center to pick up the pair, the mother was in tears and her clothes were soaking wet.

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“Eddie is dead,” Johnson recalled her cousin as saying.

The mother, Maria Johnson, 22, noticed that her son was not with his grandfather, who had visited and taken them on an errand earlier, her cousin said.

The mother spotted the boy in the pool and jumped in to get him. She pulled him out, and he vomited as his grandfather tried to perform CPR.

The boy had taken off his clothes before jumping in the pool, the cousin said.

“He was a very fast-moving kid,” the cousin said. “In a second, if you look away he won’t be where you told him to be.”

The cousin said the boy’s mother was in her room crying on Thursday night. “She’s trying hard to deal with it, but it’s hard,” she said.

She added, “I’m just thinking about how much the boy suffered in that pool.”

No one answered the phone at the center on Thursday. The owner, Sherrie Byrd, has a current license, according to online records of the state’s Office of Children and Family Services, which oversees child care sites.

A police spokesman said investigators believed the boy’s death was an accident, but that his body would be taken to the medical examiner to determine the cause of death.