St. Petersburg Toddler Drowns in Lake

Authorities say a toddler drowned in a St. Petersburg lake bordering the backyard of a relative’s home.

Police say 2-year-old Mark Andrew Van Cott died about 6 p.m. Thursday in the city’s Brighton Bay area.

The child’s grandparents were preparing dinner while Mark was playing inside the house. When they suddenly noticed he was no longer around, they began searching the residence for him.

The grandfather eventually went out to the backyard to search when he saw the child lying face down in the lake, about a foot from the shore line. He pulled Mark from the water and yelled for the others to call 911. They all began resuscitation efforts until paramedic arrived.

Investigators the child made his way out of the house through an open sliding glass door out on to a screened in back porch. He then managed to push open a screen door which appears to have a faulty latch and was not secured.

From the point, he made his way to the lake, which is a distance of about 60 feet from the house.

The family estimated that child was not out for the sight for no more the five minutes prior to the child being discovered in the lake.

Investigators say at this point, the incident appears to be no more than a tragic accident and no criminal charges are expected.

10 News and The Associated Press