On the afternoon of Monday, August 18th, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Florence Police Department reporting a two year old child had drowned at a residence in the 5000 block of East Lush Vista View, outside the city limits of Florence.
Upon arrival of deputies and emergency medical personnel, they discovered the child’s thirty-eight year old mother performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (C.P.R.) on the child. The child was taken by ambulance to the Florence Anthem Hospital for immediate medical treatment. The child was later taken by helicopter to the Maricopa Medical Center, where hours later the child was pronounced deceased.
Further investigation by the Pinal County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Bureau revealed the mother, Jody Hargis, was home with her six children, ranging in age from two to fifteen. The mother and most of the children were in the living room as two of the children were moving items from the backyard to the garage. While this was occurring, the two year old child was discovered to be missing. The mother located the child in the pool, where she jumped in, removed the child and began performing CPR on him.
The investigation is ongoing and at the completion of the investigation, the case will be referred to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office for review.
Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “The two year old child was missing for nearly five minutes before anybody noticed. The family pool was fenced but unfortunately the gate had been propped open giving the child easy access to the water. This family is devastated by the loss of their young child and brother. Please watch your children at all times to ensure they are safe around water.”
The family asked Chad Roche to act as their spokesman during the difficult time. Roche released a statement saying that the Hargis family “is left distraught and saddened by the sudden loss of their son Parker, affectionately called “Pork Chop.” According to Roche, the family was unpacking their car, when Parker slipped into the backyard pool.
There will be a Celebration of Life Service at Mountain View Family Church in Queen Creek on Saturday, Aug. 23rd at 5:00pm, according to Roche. Roche’s statement urges members of the San Tan Valley and surrounding communities to support the family which “is in great financial need during this very tragic time.” Donations can be made at any Desert Schools Federal Credit Union under the Hargis Memorial Fund.