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5-year-old drowns, 3-year-old hurt in Indiana creek

A deputy found the child in moving water and pulled him out of the creek. His 3-year-old sister also went into the water but was able to get out.

INDIANAPOLIS — Police are investigating the death of a 5-year-old boy who is believed to have drowned in a Hendricks County creek on Saturday. 

Hendricks County deputies were called around 12:15 p.m. May 7 to a child possibly in a creek near Hidden Hills Lane in the Eagle Lakes neighborhood off 56th Street near Brownsburg.

First responders searched the area behind a row of houses and, at around 12:30 p.m., a deputy found a child in the creek and pulled him from the moving water.

The child, identified as 5-year-old Yoel Michael of Brownsburg, was unresponsive. Medics took him to Hendricks Regional Hospital where he later died. 

Yoel's 3-year-old sister also had been in the creek, but authorities say she appeared to have made it out of the water on her own. 

Hendricks County authorities, along with members of the Indiana Department of Child Services and Indiana Department of Natural Resources, stayed on the scene to conduct a death investigation.

Police have not shared the identity of the 3-year-old girl or the parents.

The girl was taken to an Indianapolis hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. She was treated and released from the hospital, according to an update from the Hendricks County Sheriff's Office on Sunday. 

Investigators said the children were playing outside their home when they went to the nearby creek and, for an unknown reason, ended up in "relatively rapid moving" water. 

The coroner's office, which is conducting the autopsy of the 5-year-old boy, said the child's preliminary cause of death is consistent with drowning. 

"There's a lot of kids who play outside. (I) never thought something like this would happen," said Damon Johnson, who lives just a few houses away from the children's family and often saw the siblings playing outdoors.

Johnson said his heart aches for the family, especially during Mother's Day weekend. "I feel for the mom of the kids. I can't imagine what she's going through. It's got to be painful. Words can't describe what she's feeling," said Johnson.

Johnson said he hopes the incident will remind parents to stay vigilant while their kids are outside, especially near water.

"It's summertime now and the kids are out playing and running around and having fun. Just be more aware and watch what they're doing. Continue to stress you don't go around the ponds and lakes, because they're dangerous," he said.

The Hendricks County Sheriff's Office released a statement saying, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family involved in this tragic incident and our community as a whole."

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