A 3-year-old boy who slipped out of his home in Lumberton was discovered about two and a half hours later, having suffered personal injuries from falling into a water-filled drainage ditch, according to a February 17 statement from Sheriff Ken Sealey.


Sealey said that 3-year-old Jay Flores received transport to Southeastern Regional Medical Center, but was pronounced dead at approximately 6 p.m. at the hospital.


According to Sealey, the boy slipped out of the house as his mother, Candice Hardin, was outside getting the mail and his grandmother, Joyce Hardin, was in another room.


When the mother returned to the house and didn’t know where her child was, the family began to search for him and called the Sheriff’s Office about 40 minutes later.


Sealey said authorities launched a full-scale search and the boy was found between 2 and 2:30 p.m. He had fallen into a small canal approximately 200 feet behind the house with about six feet of murky water in it.


Detective Brandon Patterson pulled the child out of the water and attempted to revive him.


Sealey said the incident is under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Social Services.
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