NEWPORT, Ark. – The city of Newport is shaken by the death of a 9-year-old girl who drowned in a lake yesterday evening.
Lavell Raymond, the father of 9-year-old Andreas Gardner says his little girl was the spark of the family. So energetic and full of life.
“Now that she is gone it’s not the same,” Raymond said.
He said she loved going to Newport Lake, so he never thought something like this would happen.
According to the Newport Police Department, officials responded to the tragedy at around 5:30pm.
Law enforcement officers began a search for the juvenile who was later located unresponsive in the water.
Life-saving measures were started and the juvenile was transported to Unity Health ER where she was pronounced deceased.
The next day at Newport Lake, a memorial of teddy bears, flowers and heartfelt notes sat at the edge of the lake.
“She was high in spirit, energetic, fun to be around, adorable, loveable,” Raymond said.
Andreas’ nickname was bug and Raymond said she brought the happiness out of everybody.
Edna Cooper lives across the street from where the tragedy happened. She said the entire city is torn about the news.
“To have something like this happen, it just breaks your heart,” Cooper said.
Cooper wasn’t home at the time but said her daughter and son-n-law witnessed it all.
“My daughter heard someone holler ‘help’ and she yelled at her husband,” Cooper said. “They went down [to the lake] and her husband stayed in the water quite a while.”
Raymond said those who tried to help his daughter are heroes. “They risked their life for hers.”
Raymond said losing his mother was a tough pill to swallow, but this, unimaginable.
The Newport Police Department said they are in the early stages of investigating this incident.