Jacksonville, FL. – The body of a 5-year-old was found in a retention basin near Beach and Hodges on Sunday after the Jacksonville Sheriff’s office said the boy unlocked the front door of his house and walked away.
Mohomad Nour’s parents reported him missing on Sunday morning.
Jacksonville Fire Rescue found the boy’s body in a retention basin behind their house just a few hours later.
“I am sad about it. I have a daughter of my own. So I can imagine what the family is going through, ”said Rev. Jeffrey Dove. “As a mother of a 7- and 10-year-old, what happened this weekend was just so heartbreaking,” said District 5 Councilor LeAnna Cumber.
She is leading the indictment with Councilor Ju’Coby Pittman to address the dangers of retention basins.
It was only earlier this year that a UNF student was found in a nearby retention pond.
There are a total of 235 city-managed ponds and several more in neighborhoods operated by HOAs and homeowners.
Councilor Cumber said while the ponds have an aesthetic appeal, they can be very dangerous.
“It can get slippery and the way they are built – they are very happy. You have contaminants because it’s groundwater, ”she said. The retention basins are specially built for the drainage of rainwater.
Action News Robert Grant of Jax asked why they couldn’t be fenced off. The councilor said some depend on how steep the slope is. However, there is concern that this will also prevent first aiders from getting on.
She meets with city officials on Monday to review all options, including physical barriers.
“Doing something that makes it less attractive for children to get around and makes it difficult,” she said. “But don’t hinder the first responders.”
She worked with Pittman more than a year ago to launch the security campaign.
Dr. David Childers Jr., a neurodevelopmental pediatrician at the University of Florida College of Medicine, said drowning is the leading cause of death for children with autism. Mohomad Nour had nonverbal autism. While he was five years old, Dr. Childers that he was probably less than a year old.
“The ability to climb and jump in dangerous places and not know that he was in danger,” said Dr. Childers. “The most important thing we talk about with any parent is that drowning is the leading cause of death for a child with autism. The city is full of retention basins. We can’t let them out. “
He said autism is not a behavioral disorder, but a functional language disorder. The language determines how well you work.
Dr. Childers recommended using more than a single deadbolt lock to keep your doors tight around children with autism, saying a double deadbolt would protect them better.
He said concerns about water are growing in Jacksonville.
Action News Jax’s Robert Grant reached out to Wolf Creek, where Nour’s body was found, and asked if there were fences.
While the HOA had no comment on the incident, they directed us to a Go Fund Me page set up by local residents to help out the family (https://gofund.me/49458ff3).