Police ID boy, woman who drowned at Chesterfield Village Apartments
CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The Chesterfield Police Department have identified Sunday's drowning victims at Chesterfield Village Apartments as Cah'lik Brown, 6, and Christina Awosina, 23.
"At this point, the investigation indicates they both entered the deep end of the pool," the Chesterfield Police Department said. "At one point, Cah'lik let go of the pool wall and began to struggle in the water. Awosina let go of the pool wall in an attempt to help Cah'lik, and she began to struggle in the water, as well."
Christina Awosina is Brown's aunt. Foul play is not suspected.
"My sister will be a hero, because she died trying to save my son," said Jason Awosina.
Family called six-year-old Cah'lik Brown "C-Brown."
"He'll just go and grab the iPad and play his favorite game on it, which is Roadblocks. He loves anything with blocks in it," said Jason Awosina.
His young life was cut short Sunday at the Chesterfield Village Apartments after he drowned in the deep end of the pool. It happened after his aunt Christina Awosina told her brother she was heading to the pool with friends. Little C-Brown heard the conversation.
"He was like, 'I want to go to the pool, I want to go to the pool. Christina, I want to go, please please please.' Christina was like 'okay, munchkin, you can come to the pool with me.'"
Then the unthinkable happened - Christina jumped in the deep end to try to save the six-year-old - even though she couldn't swim. Her brother believes she had a heart attack in the process.
A makeshift memorial is now growing at the scene of the tragedy, as loved ones cling to the good times they shared.
"He used to like to walk up to little kids and give them hugs, because he was just a sweetheart," said family friend Dana Williams.
Both the aunt and nephew were organ donors. Their deaths are now helping others live.
"His body is going to be saving six babies, and in two of those babies, he will be giving them eyesight automatically. So I believe that he will be living on through them," said Jason Awosina.
The pool located at the front of the apartment complex on Lingstorm Lane remained closed on Monday, with a chain around the gate. Several residents said they are still trying to shake the images out of their heads.
"We thought everything was fine," said one woman. "There was no splashing or anything."
The woman added there were roughly 15 to 20 people in the pool area at the time and no signs of distress.
"Everybody was just doing their own thing," said Wilmer Perez, a witness to the situation.
Officers received a call around 5:18 p.m. for a possible drowning at the apartment complex.
According to Lt. David Samuels, when officers arrived on the scene, they learned a boy and a woman were found unresponsive in the swimming pool.
"I was crying and everything," Perez said. "I don't like to see stuff like that happen. I'm heartbroken, I guess you can say… I was scared at first, but I had to face it. There was somebody drowning. I had to help. I had to help."
Perez said he dove into the pool after he noticed a woman under water for quite some time.
"All of a sudden everything happened so quick," he added. "…I had to do something. I saw her, I just had to do something. I couldn't just stand there."
Samuels said community members pulled the woman out of the water, and both officers and residents performed CPR.
As the CPR was going on, Perez said he found out about a child in the water.
"Five minutes later, they said there was a kid in there," he added. "I hopped in there and got him out too."
Brown and Awosina were transported to the hospital, where they both died. Relatives have set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the burials.
Several people have commented on social media sharing their thoughts and prayers to the victims' families. Several people have questioned where the lifeguard was during this incident. Posted to a wall in the pool area, a sign said, "No lifeguard on duty."
A small memorial of a bear, flowers, and a toy car could be seen outside of the pool Monday morning.
A woman who lives in the complex said the pool had opened Saturday for the season.
Now Perez urges others to look out for one another to prevent a situation like this from happening again.
"It's crazy," Perez said. "You don't expect something like this to happen, especially before Memorial Day. I get that you're having fun, but at the same time, you have to be careful of your surroundings and be careful of the people around you."
Police are still investigating, but foul play is not suspected at this point.
Messages to Chesterfield Village Apartments management were not immediately returned.
Anyone with any information about the incident should call the Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.
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