Near-drowning investigation of boy continues

Near-drowning investigation of boy continues
D. A. Greg Edwards (WALB image)
D. A. Greg Edwards (WALB image)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Prince Wheeler is listed in critical condition at a Macon child trauma center. The boy was found floating in a Northwest Albany swimming pool yesterday. 

The Dougherty County child death  team was called in to handle this investigation, because at first authorities thought the child had died. 

Both the pools at Nottingham Apartments are closed today. The gate chained shut.

District Attorney Greg Edwards said the Child Death Investigation team continues on the case.

"Couple of questions that need to be answered.  What was the distances from where the child was to the pool?   And also how did the child get inside of the gate?" Edwards asked.

Firefighters arrived at the apartments first, three minutes after the emergency call. They say the child's mother ran to Engine 6 with Prince Wheeler's limp body in her arms.

Albany Fire Departments Assistant Chief Rubin Jordan said "They immediately stopped, and laid the baby down on a hard surface. Which they are trained to administer CPR."

Firefighters say the child was completely unresponsive, with no breathing or circulation.  They used what is called an AMBU bag to administer CPR.
Fire Inspector and CPR Educator Sheniqa Robinson said "You would put it over their mouth and their face.  With a baby, you would push lightly, because of the air.  You don't want to give them too much air."

Paramedics soon arrived and took over the emergency treatment, and kept the child alive. 

Investigators say Prince Wheeler and his mother live at that apartment complex, around the corner and across a street from the pool.  Investigators say there were three adults in the home at the time, including his mother.  Two teens had left the home to walk to the store.

Investigators are still trying to determine how the toddler got out of the house, how long he was out of the home before he was spotted by passersby floating in the pool. And how he got into the pool.  There is a childproof lock on the gate, with an automatic closing device.

"Right now there are no charges pending at this moment, but the case is still under investigation.  And those questions relating to all of the circumstances are being looked into," Edwards said.

Investigators continuing their probe, as the young toddler remains in critical condition tonight, fighting for his life.

Emergency officials say the quick response by first responders, and their well-trained care, are the big reasons the child is still alive.

Copyright 2016 WALB.  All rights reserved.