Hillsborough deputies identify child drowning victim

By Jason Lanning , Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 4:50 PM EST

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is still investigating the drowning Monday of an 11-month-old child at a Brandon apartment complex. 

  • 11-month-old girl drowns at Brandon apartment complex
  • Identified Tuesday as Deleah Morgan
  • Investigators trying to determine how child got into the water

The child was identified Tuesday afternoon as Deleah Morgan.

According to deputies, Morgan was found in a pond at the Lucerne Apartments at 1419 Lake Lucerne Way.

Officials are trying to determine how Morgan got into the water.

A 911 call came in just after noon saying the young girl had been seen in the water at the apartment complex but had disappeared.

Deputies and a sheriff's office dive team rushed to the scene. Divers were able to quickly find the child and rush her to an area hospital. Morgan was pronounced dead at the hospital.

"When you arrive on a scene like that when there's a child who's injured...," said Danny Alvarez, with the sheriff's office. "It's one of the most difficult parts of this job."

Officials are not saying how Morgan got into the water or who was watching her at the time. The sheriff's office also has not said if the child lived at the complex or was visiting. 

Deputies, emergency personnel and the medical examiner were at the scene for several hours Monday.

The sheriff's office said the investigation is ongoing and has not said if any charges will be filed. 

The child's death adds to the sad statistic that Florida leads the nation in child drowning deaths, according to the USA Swimming Foundation. 

"This is Florida, we're surrounded by water," Alvarez said. "It happens and it's a very unfortunate thing. That's why we stress water safety, especially around pools and around lakes, we want to make sure you have the proper safety equipment and at least safety protocol. 

"Teach your child how to swim put up gates, put locks and alarms, and then sometimes still things happen, unfortunately."