CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Chesterfield police released the name on Friday of a 2-year-old who drowned at Henricus Historical Park.
Police say Nikolette Stewart fell into the water around 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, launching a massive search. Around 6 p.m. divers recovered her body.
"With a child, it never gets easier," says Captain Jerry Pruden.
Pruden has been on the Chesterfield Dive team for 33 years. He was there Thursday, as crews worked feverishly to save little Nikolette.
"It was very tense. A lot of emotion there. And as far as the dive team there, we really wanted to make a quick recovery and give the child a chance," he says.
But, their rescue mission turned into one of recovery.
"A lot of our guys are younger guys, they have children. They've got children that age. I've got a granddaughter that is two years old. It affects everybody," says Pruden.
Investigators say the toddler went into the water after slipping off a pier. Her father jumped in after her, but the murky water kept him from finding her.
A day later, visitors to the park tell us their hearts break for the family.
"I think it's pretty sad. I have two kids and I would feel for the father. And, I would wish him the best right now," says fisherman Hannibal Reid.
While Captain Pruden tells NBC12 the department was glad to help give the family closure, he says this is a good time to remind everyone to use personal flotation devices.
Police don't believe foul play was involved in the death and continue their investigation.
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