Girl Drowns In Retention Pond

Police Not Sure When Child Drowned

A 5-year-old girl drowned in a retention pond on Indianapolis' southwest side late Monday night.

Indianapolis police were called to the Valley Brook Mobile Home Park, in 4300 block of Ten Oak Drive, just west of Kentucky Avenue, at about 9:20 p.m.

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The parents of Chesney Allen told police that when they called a home where the girl had gone, accompanied by her older brother, to play at about 5:30 p.m., they found that she wasn't there.

"The friend she was going to play with was in time out, and Chesney had been sent home," said Sgt. Matt Mount.

When officers arrived, neighbors told them that the girl had been seen playing near a retention pond nearby with several other children.

Police checked the pond but didn't find the girl. When they checked for a third time after 11 p.m., officers and firefighters found Allen's body floating about 12 feet away from a dock, Mount said.

A firefighter pulled Allen out of the water. The girl was taken to Riley Hospital for Children, where she was pronounced dead early Tuesday morning.

There is quite a bit of tall grass around the pond, but there is no fencing. Authorities weren't sure when the girl went into the pond.

"Every parent needs to keep their kids away from back here," said neighbor Tom Cratty, who helped in the search for Allen.

Indianapolis firefighter Jerry Richert, who runs an educational program called WARN or Water Awareness in Residential Neighborhoods, said parents need to make sure children know to stay away from retention ponds.

"They are dangerous … because of the deep mud and … drop offs they have in them," Richert said.

Richert said video and information on his website can be freely used by neighborhoods, schools or public safety workers. He will also come to neighborhoods to talk to children in person about retention pond dangers.