Chief: Teen who died in Land of Illusion incident wasn't found for 30 minutes because water like 'a pond'
July 22 - A local school district grieves for one of its students while the sheriff's office continues to investigate the fatal incident.
Mykiara Jones, 14, a Dayton native who was a new freshman at Middletown High School, died Tuesday night at Land of Illusion's Aqua Adventures Waterpark, the Montgomery County's coroner's office confirmed Wednesday morning.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, according to an official from the Butler County Sheriff's Office.
In a letter to the district's parents on Wednesday morning, Middletown City Schools principal Marlon Styles wrote that the girl's mother worked in the district, so "we will put our arms around her at this extremely difficult time."
The Student Services division works with Access Counseling to provide bereavement counseling as needed to assist students, staff, and parents as needed, Styles said. Access advice can be reached at 513-649-8008, extension. 038.
The Butler County Sheriff's Deputies have been called to the Land of Illusion amusement park at 8762 Thomas Road in Madison Twp. for a report of a young person drowning, so the office. The Madison Twp. EMS and the Land of Illusion staff tried to find the girl who was underwater around 5 p.m.
Kent Hall, Madison Twp. Fire chief said he was the first to arrive and called the water rescue teams from the Middletown and Franklin fire departments and CareFlight from Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton for help.
A Land of Illusion lifeguard located Jones in the water around 5:30 p.m., 30 minutes later, according to the sheriff's office. She was flown to Dayton Children's Hospital, where she died.
When asked why it took 30 minutes to find Jones, Hall described the water park as a "pond" and the water isn't as clear as a swimming pool.
The BCSO received two 911 calls related to the search, according to the calls received from this news agency.
One caller said the girl was not wearing a life jacket. The teenager went into the water and "she never came back up," the caller told the dispatchers.
She said the girl was missing for about 12 minutes at the time.
"This is a tragedy no parent should suffer," Sheriff Richard Jones said in a press release. "These are the calls that first responders fear and struggle with."
In a post on its Facebook page, Land of Illusion said it was "sad to hear of a young girl's death" at Aqua Adventure Park.
The park was closed on Wednesday, "out of respect for her and her family and for our employees who are also involved in this tragedy," said the Facebook post.
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