Triple attempted murder probe opened after woman found in pond with children
Tuesday, 05 November 2019
Credit: Belga (Cropped).
Namur prosecutors have opened an investigation on three counts of attempted murder after a woman was found inside a pond with two children who were pulled safely from the water on Monday.
Two of the three children were rescued from the water by passers-by who heard screaming while walking through the Louise-Marie park in Namur at around 7:00 P.M. on Monday.
A spokesperson for the public prosecutor’s office in Namur said the two young passers-by ran in the direction of the screaming and saw one child floating motionless in the water, a second one on the banks of the pond and a third one held in the woman’s arms.
“One of the two youths immediately dived into the water and pulled the child [who was floating motionless] in the water onto the bank,” spokesperson Charlotte Fosseur told reporters at a press briefing. “He then swam back towards the adult, who was holding onto the second child, and managed to retrieve that child as well.”
Fosseur told reporters that the children’s rescuer attempted to convince the woman to swim back towards the edge of the pond but that the woman refused.
“When the young man turned back in the direction of the woman after bringing the child to the pond’s edge, she was no longer there,” she added.
Emergency respondents called to the scene scoured the pond for over an hour but found no trace of the woman, whose identity remains unconfirmed but who officials presume is the children’s mother.
The children, three boys aged 3, 4 and 6, were rushed to the hospital in a state of shock and suffering from hypothermia, but their condition is stable, Le Soir reports.
The search for the woman, halted on Monday evening, continued on Tuesday, with civil protection and fire department teams assisted by sniffer dogs.
“All possible means are being used to find the woman,” Fosseur said. “It is presumed that she drowned — but it was dark, and she may have been able to get out of the water on another side of the pond.”
Fosseur said that “nothing was excluded” at this point in the investigation, which would be closed if rescue workers found the woman’s body.