TEXAS CITY — A nearly 5 1/2 hour search for a missing 2-year-old girl ended in tragedy early Sunday morning when divers found her body in a park pond.
Kaloni Carbin of Beaumont was at a family reunion at Carver Park in West Texas City when she went missing at about 7 p.m. on Saturday.
As police and volunteers combed the neighborhood, members of the Galveston Police Department's dive team searched a large pond that is in the park.
Her body was found on the northwest side of the pond at about midnight after divers searched the pond for about two hours, Texas City Police Chief Robert Burby said.
Carbin's mother and other family members could be seen crying when they were told of the drowning.
The body of water, a popular attraction and feature at the park, is about 8 to 10 feet deep, officials said. It is not fenced, but swimming in the pond is prohibited by city ordinance.
Police did not confirm who was responsible for watching the child or how she may have slipped away from her parents during the reunion.
Police sent out a citywide phone call alert at about 8 p.m. and were helped by West Texas City residents, the Galveston County Sheriff's Office and Galveston County Precinct 3 Constable office deputies in the search.
An 11-person search team from the county also joined the search.
Texas City police protocol in such cases is to call in all available officers and set up a command post near where the missing child was last seen.
Police, with the help of area residents who know the community, go door-to-door to alert neighbors. They also ask for permission to search in houses and yards in an effort to find the child.
Police also put up a perimeter of about 10 square blocks during the initial stage of the search and widen it when the first searches are not successful. A group of volunteers, often graduates of the Texas City Citizens Police Academy help coordinate the volunteers and search effort.
Carbin's drowning is the second involving a child in Texas City in the past month. On June 10, Terrell Harris, 15, drowned when he went into the waters of an isolated pond behind the South Point subdivision in West Texas City.
Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or email@example.com.