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6-year-old drowns in South Jersey summer camp pool, police say

"I lost my little man": Mother remembers 6-year-old son who drowned in South Jersey summer camp pool
"I lost my little man": Mother remembers 6-year-old son who drowned in South Jersey summer camp pool 02:51

MANSFIELD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — A New Jersey mother is grieving after her 6-year-old son drowned in a pool on the first day of summer camp. The incident happened Monday at Liberty Lake Day Camp in Bordentown.

From the moment he was born, Enjoli Stewart said her son Michael was a fighter.

"Michael was in a rush to get into this world," Stewart said. "Michael was born at 23 weeks. He was a pound, 3 ounces."

Stewart said doctors told her if he survived, he wouldn't live a normal life but he did.

"My son was eager," Stewart said. "He was eager about everything."

Michael was especially eager to swim on his first day at Liberty Lake Day Camp.

Michael arrived Monday morning. Later that afternoon, Stewart was recounting to a coworker about her son's excitement.

"Someone asked me how my day was going and I told them about Michael and how Michael fell asleep the night before with his goggles on," she said, "and he was excited about swimming and then my phone rang and I was told I needed to rush to Mount Holly-Virtua."

The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office said shortly before 2 p.m., a lifeguard found Michael unresponsive in a pool.

Investigators said staff members attempted life-saving measures until an ambulance arrived to take Michael to the hospital, where doctors said he died.

"We're going to do right by my son," Stewart said. "We're going to make sure he has the fair arrangements. I think I'm going to take some time to process and heal."

She's also going to take time to continue her fight for answers to how her son died.

"Michael taught me how to fight and he taught me to fight without using my hands," Stewart said. "He taught me how to fight in a different manner."

A spokesperson for Liberty Lake Day Camp declined to respond to Stewart's criticism of the camp.

In a statement, the camp's owner, Andy Pritikin, wrote, "All of us at Liberty Lake Day Camp are devastated and grieving over the tragic passing of our young camper. This senseless tragedy took a life that was far too young. There are no words that feel appropriate enough to capture our heartache and mourning."

An autopsy will be performed Tuesday by the Burlington County medical examiner. 

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