Monday, April 22, 2013
Before being swept away by a current, 6-year-old Lamontea Taylor saved the life of another child who was swimming with him.
Lamontea Taylor, whose body was found by searchers around 10 a.m. Monday in the Gulf of Mexico off Anna Maria Island, helped prevent a 5-year-old girl named Natallie from drowning, the girl's mother said.
"My daughter was swimming with him in the beach, and he went under and pushed her up and saved her life," Amanda Jones said. "She told me she couldn't breathe, and Lamontea pushed her up. That was the last anyone seen of him."
Lamontea, a student at Bradenton's Samoset Elementary School, went missing in the waters of Longboat Pass around 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Personnel from multiple agencies, including the Coast Guard, searched for him Saturday night and Sunday.
His body was found by two Florida Fish and Wildlife officers Monday and brought to shore. Bradenton Beach police are investigating the case as a drowning.
Natallie Porter, the little girl, was treated at a local hospital Saturday evening.
"She was traumatized," Jones said. "She was in shock, but she is OK. He's our hero and we'll always remember him as our hero we are forever grateful."
The outcome for Natalie apparently could have been much worse if not for Lamontea's actions.
Authorities said Lamontea was with his family until he got caught in a rip current and swept out to sea. Signs prohibit swimming in the area because of strong currents.
"You have a terrible terrible example of what happens when you get too close and you go in go in the water where there is no swimming. And get caught in current and a lot of things can happen. This is again a tragedy because a young life has been lost now," said Lenard Diaz, Detective Seargent with the Bradenton Beach Police Department.
The boy’s mother, Laketa Taylor, was too devastated to talk to Bay News 9 Monday. Though she did say thank you to everyone who helped with the search.
Detectives with the Bradenton Beach Police Department say the boy's parents do not face any criminal charges, and are calling what happened an accident.
Funeral arrangements have not been made at this time, however the family is asking for help to pay for it when they do.