Family speaks on child's death

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WUSA9) -- Police have identified the child who died after falling through a thin layer of ice in a pond at a Gaithersburg construction site as 10-year-old D'Angelo Jayvon McMullen.

Officials say they were dispatched to the intersection of Diamondback Drive and Reprise Drive in Gaithersburg at 4:16 p.m. after a call that three children had fallen into the pond.

Officials said the kids were playing on the ice.

"One had made it off of the ice as our units were arriving, the second was assisted by our units and the third had actually submerged underneath the water," said Scott Graham, Assistant Chief for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.

A 9 and 11 year old were able to get out of the water but a third child, DJ McMullen, was submerged for 30-40 minutes before crews were able to find him.

He was transported to a local hospital in critical condition but died a few hours later Monday evening.

"The takeaway from this is that as cold as it was last week in our region there is no ice that is sustainable for human weight. Even pets, keep them all off the ice," advised Graham. "These kids were just out being kids in the neighborhood but tragically it ended tonight for the 10-year-old."

The family gave a statement on Tuesday, "We would like to thank all of our family, friends, and the community for their support during this difficult time. Please respect our privacy while our family grieves the loss of our very special child."

The other two children were also transported to a local hospital. Graham said, as of Monday night, they were in stable condition and being treated for cold weather exposure. One of the two children was DJ McMullen's brother.


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