Belvidere boy drowns at Pearl Lake in South Beloit


Pearl Lake Beach, May 24, 2023

A  6 year-old boy from Belvidere, Illinois was pronounced dead on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023 at 5:58 p.m. after being pulled from the water at Pearl Lake Beach in South Beloit, IL.

A GoFundMe page identifies him as Christiano Daniel Morales, known as Danny.

The Winnebago County Coroner's Office announced today:

On Saturday, 9/2/2023 at 6:01 p.m., the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office was called to respond to a local Emergency Department for a 6 year-old male drowning victim. Preliminary investigation revealed that on the afternoon of 9/2/2023, the child was with his family members at Pearl Lake in South Beloit. At around 3:10 p.m., an announcement was made over the PA system to have everyone exit the water and look for the child. The child’s mother pointed to an area of the lake where her son was last seen. A bystander entered the lake and dove underwater in search for the child. Shortly thereafter, the bystander located the child, brought him to shore, and began resuscitative efforts. At 3:12 p.m., South Beloit Police Officers, South Beloit Fire Department personnel, and Harlem-Roscoe Fire Department personnel responded to the lake. Resuscitative efforts were taken over by EMS personnel and the child was transported to a local hospital for further care and treatment. Once at the hospital, resuscitative efforts continued. On 9/2/2023 at 5:58 p.m., despite all efforts, the child was pronounced deceased. An autopsy was performed today. Preliminary autopsy findings revealed the child died from drowning. South Beloit Police are investigating this incident.

Jason Griffin, South Beloit Fire Chief, says, "The South Beloit Fire Department's thoughts are with the family during this very difficult time.... [and] would like to thank everybody that assisted with this emergency."

Griffin says, "For this emergency at 3:13 p.m. the South Beloit Fire Department received a call for a possible drowning with CPR in progress. South Beloit Fire Department called for Harlem Roscoe Fire Protection District at 3:14 p.m. for an engine and ambulance response. South Beloit called for Harlem Roscoe Fire Protection District to increase the paramedics on scene and to assist with transport to the hospital for this incident. The South Beloit Fire Department was the first arriving unit from on scene and started immediate care on the patient. Time in route was 7 minutes."

Griffin says the South Beloit Fire Department has been a one paramedic ambulance service  since it began 1989, but adds, "If an emergency call needs multiple paramedics on the scene, the South Beloit Fire Department will call for a mutual aid paramedic ambulance and/or paramedic engine to assist with the call."

After a gap of four years, the beach reopened to the public on Memorial Day 2023. Since the resort does not provide lifeguards, visitors to the lake agree to swim at their own risk. Children 16 and under need to be accompanied by an adult. Lifejackets are required on the inflatable water park.

    This story will be updated. We have contacted the resort management and owner for comments.

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