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Glenview Police Close Case Of 5-Year-Old Boy Who Drowned

GLENVIEW, Ill. (CBS) -- Glenview police have completed a two-month investigation into the June 15 drowning death of a 4-year-old boy in a park district pool.

As WBBM Newsradio's Dave Marsett reports, the 85-page police report states that the case is administratively closed. No charges were filed.

According to the report, Vicente Cardenas was on a camp field trip with Glenview-based Wesley Child Care at the Roosevelt Pool, at 2239 Fir St. in Glenview, when he went missing around 2 p.m. on June 15.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's Dave Marsett reports


Someone noticed he was face down at the bottom of the pool, in an area where the water was about 5 feet deep. The police report says it was only 10 to 15 seconds later than a lifeguard pulled him from the pool.

Some, however, said it took the lifeguards a lot longer than that.

CPR was performed, but the boy was pronounced dead at Glenbrook Hospital.

The report indicates a Wesley teacher last saw Cardenas at the bottom of a pool slide, but was distracted when another child asked her a question.

After looking back without seeing Cardenas, the teacher then asked others where he was and started walking toward the concession stand. The report also quotes a teacher who described Cardenas a "Dennis the Menace," meaning he liked to wander off during activities.

Another teacher said about one minute had passed from the time he was missing to when lifeguards blew two whistles signaling the emergency. Yet, the teacher who saw Cardenas near the water slide said five minutes had elapsed.

Wesley Child Care teacher Darcy Kelly told police she and other teachers were in the pool watching the children in a shallow end that gradually became deeper. They were not assigned to watch individual children, but as a group, she said, adding the pool was "very crowded."

Vicente's uncle, Val Gurvits, told the Chicago Tribune back in June that negligence was clearly involved in many levels in the case.

He told the Tribune "that something stupid, preventable (and) avoidable happened because someone didn't think through the field trip."

Witness Kelly Nicioli told CBS 2's Mike Puccinelli last week that lifeguards tried for several minutes to revive the child before paramedics arrived.

"It was disturbing, sickening, to see this happening to a little kid," said Nicioli, 14, who was having a birthday party at the pool.

Park district officials said the pool's capacity is 1,359, as coded by Illinois Department of Public Health. On the day of the fatality there were 750 in attendance.

The Cook County Department of Public Health discovered no violations of operations at Roosevelt Pool on June 18.

Police served a grand jury subpoena to Glenview Park District, asking for internal investigations and interviews with pool workers. However, the report states that park district attorney Ed Dutton turned down the request, citing attorney-client privilege.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is still investigating the incident.

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