Police release details on boy's drowning

Published On: Aug 25 2014 10:58:49 AM EDT
Updated On: Aug 25 2014 07:07:07 PM EDT

News4JAX has confirmed the home where an 8-month old drowned is owned by a Jacksonville firefighter, but it is not clear if they are related.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

An 8-month-old boy who drowned in a backyard pool Saturday morning at an Oceanway home was in a playpen when everyone went to sleep after a house party, according to Jacksonville police.

Police said the parents of Karsyn Mangum (pictured below) were at the party at the home in the 11000 block of Leafdale Circle West, and the first adult who woke up found a door to the house ajar and the boy in the pool.

There is no fence around the pool.

It is not known how long Karsyn was in the pool. The medical examiner will determine that, police said.

Police questioned people who were at the party, but no charges have been filed. The Department of Children and Families is also investigating.

"In these types of cases, what we need to do is talk with the parents, relatives and other people who know the child," DCF spokesman John Harrell said. "We need to get a better idea of what that child's living situation had been, and if there had been any other concern about that child's safety."

Property records indicate the home is owned by a Thomas Hohorst Jr., a Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department firefighter. It's unknown if the child and Hohorst are related.

"The No. 1 killer of kids in the state Florida is drowning in kids under the age of 5," said Cynthia Dennis of Safe Kids Northeast Florida.

Dennis said stories like Karsyn's are all too common, and prevention is key. She said a good place to start is the door leading to the backyard.

"We recommend putting a lock way up high about three inches from the top frame of the door, so that even if a child could drag a stool or something, they couldn't reach up that high to manipulate the lock," Dennis said.

Other options include putting alarms on doors and windows and placing four-sided isolation fences around the pool. Above all, don't underestimate what children can do.

"Know your child, know that young children are very capable, know that they're watching older people," Dennis said. "One of their favorite things to do is to do what the older people do."

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Karsyn's family with funeral and burial expenses.