Archive for Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Drowning victims’ services set

July 20, 2005, 11:27 a.m.

Updated: 11:27 a.m.

Separate services are set for Friday for two Lansing 2-year-olds who drowned Monday in a residential swimming pool.

The dead have been identified as Emma Catherine McKnight, daughter of Dr. John and Jody McKnight, and Nicholas Bryant Anderson, son of Benjamin and Hillary Anderson. Nicholas was six days shy of his third birthday at the time of his death.

The two died early Monday afternoon after their bodies were pulled from a swimming pool at the Anderson's home in the Sherwood Forest subdivision on the city's far south side.

The funeral for Nicholas Anderson will be at 10 a.m. Friday at R.L. Leintz Funeral Home, Leavenworth. Burial will follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery, Lansing.

Services for Emma McKnight will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Wallula Christian Church with burial at Mount Calvary Cemetery.

Lansing Police Chief Steve Wayman said the police investigation into the drownings was continuing, but that foul play was not suspected.

"This is just a terribly, terribly tragic accident," he said.

According to Wayman, Hillary Anderson was babysitting her two children and a couple of their friends, including Emma, Monday morning at the house. The youngsters - all under the age of 10 - were playing in a downstairs area designated as a children's playroom. Hillary Anderson left the four children about 11 a.m. to go fix lunch and called the children upstairs to eat about 11:40 a.m. At that time, the two older children came upstairs and said they didn't know where Emma and Nicholas were.

Hillary Anderson, Wayman said, went downstairs, discovered that the locked sliding glass doors that lead to the pool had been tampered with and opened. She discovered the bodies of the two children in the pool, dove in and pulled them out, ran inside to call 911, and then began administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation to them.

The first emergency responders on the scene continued the resuscitation efforts as did Leavenworth County EMS personnel. Emma and Nicholas were taken to St. John's Hospital, where resuscitation efforts continued until the youths were pronounced dead about 1 p.m.

Autopsies were performed Tuesday morning at Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan.; results were not yet available.

The families could not be reached for comment. Friends, neighbors and other intermediaries said they were respecting the families' privacy and would not comment otherwise on the accident or about the children.

Wayman said it was the first time in his 15 years with the Lansing Police Department that he's dealt with a double drowning.

For more on the deaths, pick up a copy of Thursday's Current.

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