Columbus boy drowns in Oakland Park watershed - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus boy drowns in Oakland Park watershed

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The drowning of an eight-year-old boy in Columbus has been ruled an accident.

The third grader died Wednesday night in a secluded watershed on the city's south side.

Jaquanist Henderson's family says he did not come home after school and went swimming in a body of water that backs up to the Oakland Park section of the city. The watershed is in a field off of Blan Street and Sharon Avenue. It used to be the site of a garbage dump.

The child's grandmother, Keecha Henderson, says he had mentioned that he had wanted to go play with new friends he had made at his school, South Columbus Elementary, but never told anyone where he was going after school the day he died.

Family members were frantically driving around trying to find him before the weather got bad.

Keecha Henderson told News Leader 9 her grandson, who many called "Quan," knew how to swim but something went wrong. By the time his friends, another little boy and a little girl, went to get help, it was too late. One of the children reported seeing bubbles but added he never saw Jaquanist resurface.

"They went swimming in the water. He jumped in. His little friend got out but he never did. It was four or five blocks from where his friend lived at and they went to get help. When the uncle went back to get him, they couldn't find him so they had the rescue team go down and they brought him back up," she told WTVM in an interview Thursday. 

Columbus Fire and EMS divers were able to find the boy's body under 6-7 feet of water.

The victim's body was sent to Atlanta for an autopsy. His death has been ruled an accidental drowning, according to Muscogee County Coroner Bill Thrower.

His family is in the process of setting up funeral arrangements.

In the meantime, funds have been set up at CB&T and Wells Fargo branch locations under the name Jaquanist Henderson.

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