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2-year-old drowns in Chandler community lake after wandering from home, police say

Police responded to a neighborhood near Alma School and Chandler Heights roads around 5:31 p.m.

CHANDLER, Ariz. — Bellerae Smith, a 2-year-old girl, died Tuesday night after wandering from home and being discovered unconscious in a Chandler lake, according to police.

Police responded to a neighborhood near Alma School and Chandler Heights roads around 5:31 p.m. after a family member called police and reported Smith missing from her family's apartment for 30 minutes, according to police.

Investigators said officers searched the area for the girl, and she was later found unconscious in a nearby community lake on the west side.

Officers performed CPR before the girl was rushed to a hospital, where she later died.

Police believe the girl wandered from the apartment unnoticed for approximately one hour before police found her unresponsive in the water, despite being watched by a relative.

Police are unable to determine the exact time Bellerae fell into the lake, according to official documents.

Summers in Arizona always see a spike in accidental drownings, especially involving children.

In 2019, the Children's Safety Zone reported 36 total drowning deaths in Maricopa and Pinal Counties. Five of those deaths were in children ages 0 to 5.

In 2020, they reported an increase with 47 total deaths. 14 of those deaths were in children ages 0 to 5. 

To save lives, the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona broke down important safety tips easily with the ABC's. 

  • A. Adult Supervision
  • B. Barriers between children and water
  • C. Classes, CPR for adults and swim lessons.

This is a developing story. Stay with 12 News for the latest updates.

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