SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. — A seven-year-old girl drowned before a scheduled community Fourth of July fireworks display in Spotsylvania County Friday night.
Deputies were called to the Lake Wilderness subdivision in Western Spotsylvania County, where people were gathering for a fireworks display around 8:30 p.m. Friday evening, according to the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office.
The girl’s family had been searching for her there for half an hour. The victim’s mother told police that her daughter went into the water with another girl before drowning; her friend survived.
“Some how during the crowd and commotion, the little girl got off into the water on a noodle floatation device with another child,” Captain Jeff Pearce of the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies called the fire department’s rescue and dive team after talking with several people who said the girl had been seen near a pond.
After a search, her body was found in eight feet of water. The fireworks event was canceled.
“We’ve been told by several people that she did know how to swim and was in fact swimming in the pool quite regularly,” Captain Pearce said. “In this case, we don’t know what happened.”
Neighbors were devastated by the incident. Adrienne Scholzen set up a makeshift memorial for the girl.
“We didn’t know what had happened,” Scholzen said. “When we did hear she had drowned, we just felt so terrible for her family.”
Police are not saying how she drowned as of now. The girl’s body was taken to the medical examiner’s office in Richmond and the Sheriff’s office is now investigating.