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UPDATED: Investigation Continues Into Death of 2-Year-Old Lakewood Girl Found In Septic Tank

Child had been playing in the back of her Spruce Street home, Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford says

The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office is investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl  found dead at the bottom of a septic tank in the family's backyard early Monday evening.

The girl's mother, Marina Matias, called police at 4:49 p.m. to report her child was missing. Police and emergency service personnel went to the East Spruce Street home and began searching for the little girl, identified as "J.C." Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford said.

The mother was inside the house tending to a 2-month-old baby while her four other children played in the backyard, Ford told Patch late Monday night.

"At some point, she couldn't find her 2-year-old," Ford said.

The mother spent about 20 minutes frantically searching for the child, then called police, said Ford.

The search teams found a 3-foot wide hole in the yard, apparently leading to an uncovered septic tank. Lakewood Public Works was called in to pump out the water in the tank, Ford said.

"At approximately 7:30 p.m., the water level had been dropped and police and emergency personnel unfortunately made visual observation of the body of a child in that tank," she said.

Emergency crews were able to remove the child's body from the septic tank at 10:33 p.m., Ford said.

"It was a difficult process to try and bring the body out," she said.

The child was pronounced dead at the scene by the Ocean County Medical Examiner, Ford said.

Ford said it was unclear whether the family knew the hole was in the backyard, or if the uncovered septic tank was operational.

"I don't have the answers," Ford said. "Obviously we haven't been able to interview the family."

The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office and the Lakewood Police Department are conducting the investigation, she said.

"We all join in expressing our sympathy to the family of this child," Ford said. "I ask that the media be respectful of their privacy at this time."

Anyone with any information should call Detective Sgt. Carlos Trujillotovar at the Prosecutor's Office at 732-929-2027.

Hearme March 15, 2012 at 01:54 AM
I have said it before and will say it again ...These types of stories should not allow comments. There are real people involved and family and friends that are innocent of anything that read this crap and/or have people tell them about it.
WhyohWhy March 15, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Well Hearme, I would say you could blame the 'Author'... but this is what sells and makes people read and keep coming back for more ! Journalism at its best or should I say worst?
Cece May 25, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Hearme - Well said!
shorecorruption May 27, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Who owns the 3' hole?
NoCanDo May 28, 2012 at 02:32 AM
May she be in Heaven. So tragic; so Sad. Dear Lord, comfort her family.

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