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Boy drowns during summer camp in St. Louis County, police say

The St. Louis County Police Department said the boy was 6 years old.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A child drowned at a recreation center in St. Louis County Wednesday afternoon, St. Louis County police confirmed Wednesday.

Police said they were called to the Kennedy Recreation Center in south St. Louis County at around 1:25 Wednesday afternoon for a report of an unconscious person. A press release from the St. Louis County Police Department said lifeguards pulled the boy from the water and started doing CPR on him until emergency crews arrived.

The boy was rushed to SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, where he died, his family said.

Thursday morning, St. Louis County police identified the boy as 6-year-old Travone Mister Jr.

Children were sent home and the pool was closed following the incident.

People on the scene told 5 On Your Side's Robert Townsend that the pool was being used for a summer camp. According to the St. Louis County website, Kennedy Recreation Center was hosting its Camp Kennedy.

The description of the camp said children between the ages of 5 and 12 are grouped by age for activities that include a "supervised recreational swim at Kennedy Recreation Complex."

“It’s tragic for the family. It’s tragic for the counselors at the center,” said Dan Dooley. 

Dooley said his two children played with the little boy who drowned while at summer camp.

“We’ve never had any trouble at this camp. The counselors are very good. They’re very good at taking care of the kids. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this little boy and everybody that works here and all these kids who knew the body,” said Dooley.

A St. Louis County spokesperson tells 5 On Your Side multiple children were in the pool at the time of the drowning. We're also told this was the first drowning at the county's four public swimming pools since the facilities opened.

A parent also told Townsend that the camp would be closed for the next two days due to the drowning.

"I'm devastated for the family," said Lisa McMullin, the founder of the Swim On Foundation

In 1982, McMullin's 22-month-old son, Nicholas, drowned in their pool on the family's farm. Years later, in 2019, the St. Louis County mom founded the foundation in hopes of educating the public and raising awareness about the dangers of drowning.

"We want to make people aware of the risks of drowning, of what drowning involves," she said. "It's silent and extraordinarily fast."

For more information about the Swim On Foundation, click here.

Correction: July 29, 2022
Travone Mister Jr.'s family said he died at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. An earlier version of this report, citing St. Louis police, said he died at St. Louis Children's Hospital .

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