Girl, 4, Drowns in River After Wandering From Home: Police

The little girl was taken to Beverly Hospital as CPR was performed, Danvers police said, but she was later pronounced dead 'after many extensive efforts to save her'

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A four-year-old girl who wandered off from her home Sunday afternoon drowned in a nearby river in Danvers, Massachusetts, authorities say.

Danvers police officers were dispatched to River Drive around 12:15 p.m. for a report of a missing four-year-old. Police were told the girl had wandered away from her family's residence, which neighbors say is an apartment complex right next to the river.

While searching the area, responding officers found the child submerged in water along the river bank, Danvers police said.

She was not showing any signs of life when she was pulled from the water, according to police. CPR was immediately performed by an officer, until Danvers firefighters and ambulance personnel arrived to take over the girl's care.

"We saw this limp body getting pulled out of the water. Really, really sad," neighbor TJ Wolf said of what he witnessed. "About 15 minutes, 20 minutes they were sitting over here by the trash cans, trying to do CPR. Didn't look like they were very successful."

The little girl was taken to Beverly Hospital as CPR continued, police said, but she was later pronounced dead "after many extensive efforts to save her."

Wolf and another neighbor who watched the substantial resuscitation efforts say they are shaken up after the haunting sights and sounds they witnessed.

"Just really tragic," Wolf said of what happened. "We heard some screaming. We were in the bedroom and the window was open, so we looked out the bedroom and we saw a boat police start to pull up and then eventually heard really loud screaming."

Wolf and Abigail Tucker say they watched in shock as rescuers scrambled to try to save the little girl after finding her submerged in the river.

"I was a disaster. I was, I was literally crying," Tucker said. "But I couldn't stop watching. I was just praying a miracle or something would happen to save the baby."

Wolf says a couple minutes after the parents came down, he heard screaming and bawling.

"They were obviously very distraught," Wolf said of their reaction.

The little girl's mom "literally collapsed on the ground," said Tucker, who was "absolutely horrified" by what she saw.

"It's completely heartbreaking," she said.

The Danvers Police Department extended its "deepest condolences" to the girl's family, saying in a statement, "They will be in our thoughts and prayers."

The girl's name is being withheld for her family's privacy, police said.

Danvers police and Massachusetts State Police are investigating the apparent drowning.

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