INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - An Indianapolis mother was nowhere to be found when her 2-year-old walked to the community pool at Windsor Park Apartments.
The child, who couldn't swim, fell into the water.
The toddler's mom, 17-year-old Jevona Starks, was arrested for neglect of a dependent Monday and transported to the Juvenile Detention Center in Indianapolis. Residents at the complex told 24-Hour News 8 it took police 30 minutes to locate Starks.
Starks told 24-Hour News 8 asked Starks how her daughter ended up in the pool.
"I really don't know because I was helping my granddad in the house and stuff," Starks said. "My granddad can barely get around and stuff. So, I really don't know what happened."
But it was an 11-year-old special needs child who helped rescue Starks' daughter.
Helen Parrish, who lives at the complex located at 6764 Lambert St., was taking a dip with her family at the time of the incident Monday afternoon.
"I helped her out and put her on the steps," the 11-year-old said. "She couldn't breathe and she was crying."
The 2-year-old is now in the care of Child Protective Services.
Turns out, ten people die every day from unintentional drowning in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Toddlers who accidentally fall into water too deep can drown in less than two inches of water. It can happen in minutes.
Drowning is the fifth-leading cause of unintentional injury death.
Helens father, David Parrish, says he doesn't want anyone he knows to become another statistic.
"I believe that a child needs to learn how to swim because they can be boating and may fall into the water," David Parrish said. "They need to know at least one stroke or something where they can swim back to the boat or the land where they fell. All my kids know how to swim."
Starks is thankful Helen was there to help.
David Parrish says the lessons he taught his daughter paid off in a big way.
"I have bragged about it ever since I heard about it. I told her I am extremely proud of her," he said moments before giving his daughter a hug and a kiss.
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