Seven-year-old boy dies in drowning incident at Toledo hotel

Published: Dec. 4, 2017 at 11:36 AM EST
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Toledo police say Jovontai Highsmith , 7, drowned in the pool at the Days Inn at 1800 Miami Street in East Toledo. According to police documents, the incident happened just before 8:00pm on Friday.

Highsmith's mother, Marquita Gilmer, says they were celebrating the boys four-year-old brother's birthday. Gilmer says she and another adult left the pool area to prepare food for the party. She says there were other cousins in the pool and the children were told to stay out of the deep end.

Gilmer says Highsmith ended up under water. That's when another family member alerted the four-year-old's father, Tevin Sykes, that Highsmith was not breathing.

Family members tell 13abc Sykes started CPR. Emergency crews rushed Highsmith to St. Vincent's Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The principal of Northpointe Academy says Highsmith was a student there. The school has grief counselors on-hand at the elementary and middle schools this week.

Family members tell 13abc a vigil is scheduled for 5:30 Monday night (Dec. 4) outside the Days Inn Hotel on Miami Street.