A Florida family is mourning the loss of their two year-old daughter today after the girl wandered off and fell into a Lauderdale Lakes canal and drowned. Jona Lilavois had gone missing yesterday afternoon at around 2:30PM. She wandered away from her house, while both of her parents were home. After discovering she was missing, the family, including their 16 year-old son went out looking for the girl, and also recruited neighbors to aid in the search as well.
Nykesha Lee says of the search “I went door to door and knocked on all the doors and I went over here and we were stopping all the cars that came by; we were stopping them and asking have they seen a little sister that was in a pink dress.” About 40 minutes after the girl vanished, her family called the police.
“The mother apparently went out back to get some laundry off the clothesline, the father went to use the restroom. At some point after that when they reconverged in the living room where the child was watching TV, the child wasn’t there.” says Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue spokesperson Mike Jachles. Many units responded, including K-9 units and divers. A bloodhound on the scene caught the scent of the girl and followed it into the canal, where divers located the girl, who was unresponsive. Rescuers administered vigorous CPR on the girl, and she was airlifted to Broward General Medical Center, where she was later pronounced dead.
Investigators in the case say that the family home’s front door was not secured shut. Lilavois’ older 16 year-old brother, Romensen Meresse remembered his little sister, saying “She was a beautiful little girl, and she had long black hair.”