Killeen Woman Charged in Connection to Son’s Drowning
A Killeen woman was in the Bell County Jail Monday a little over a month after her child drowned.
Jail records indicate 27-year-old Katie Marie Rhea was booked on July 3 at 2:50 PM and charged with abandoning or endangering a child, imminent bodily danger. She remained in jail Monday afternoon in lieu of bonds totaling $200,000.
Christopher Shadrock with our partners at News 10 reports that police responded to a call concerning a drowning at the Bridgewater Apartments in the 600 block of Hallmark Avenue in Killeen on May 27.
Upon arrival, officers saw bystanders performing CPR on a 6-year-old boy, later identified as Jonathan DeWitt. The boy was not breathing and did not have a pulse. The person who retrieved DeWitt from the pool said the child had been in the deep end.
DeWitt passed away at McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple on May 31.
Statements from witnesses and Rhea indicate that Rhea left DeWitt and his 7-year-old brother alone at the pool around 6:30 PM on May 27. Rhea, who admitted to having been drinking, was reportedly sitting outside the door of her apartment looking at her phone and drinking, and was not seen at the pool again until someone notified her that her son had been removed from the water.
Rhea reportedly admitted that she has a history of child protective cases, and this marks the 10th.
Hopefully sharing this story will remind parents to keep close watch on their kids, especially while they're swimming. If a kid goes under for even a moment, there's always the chance that something is wrong and quick action is needed.