Girl Drowns in Balch Springs Pond

Tuesday, May 20, 2014  |  Updated 12:09 AM CDT
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Police in the Dallas County community of Balch Springs said a 9-year-old girl drowned in a park pond Sunday evening. Monday evening, friends and family held a vigil at the site of the drowning shortly after the city installed

Bianca Castro, NBC 5 News

Police in the Dallas County community of Balch Springs said a 9-year-old girl drowned in a park pond Sunday evening. Monday evening, friends and family held a vigil at the site of the drowning shortly after the city installed "No Swimming" signs around the retention pond.

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Drowning in a Balch Springs Pond

Police in the Dallas County community of Balch Springs said a 9-year-old girl drowned in a park pond Sunday evening.
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Police in the Dallas County community of Balch Springs said a 9-year-old girl drowned in a park pond Sunday evening.

In a press release, the Balch Springs Police Department said it responded to reports of a child drowning at Walter E. Luedke Park at 3201 Hickory Tree Road around 6:25 p.m.

Balch Springs police officers and firefighters joined other people who were in the water looking for the girl.

She was found at the bottom of the pond. Emergency crews started CPR before transporting her to Children's Medical Center in Dallas via medical helicopter.

The girl was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

The Dallas County medical examiner identified the girl as Tamia Johnson of Balch Springs on Monday morning.

"The park was officially opened April 12th of this year, so it's a brand new park. Honestly, we didn't
anticipate the pond being full at this time, but with the heavy rains that we've had, it's filled up quicker than we've anticipated; so signs will probably be up no later than the end of this week as far as no swimming", said Balch Springs spokesperson David Haas.

Friends and family held a vigil at the site of the drowning shortly after the city installed "No Swimming" signs around the retention pond.

The girl's father told the crowd that he's saddened it took the death of his daughter to prompt the city to install signs.

The city said that the signs were on order.

Many citizens, including current and former council members, told NBC 5 the park is plagued with problems that need to be addressed.

The issue is to come up at the next city council meeting later this month.

NBC 5's Bianca Castro contributed to this report.

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