20-month-old boy dead after being found in pond

Local and state officials are investigating the death of a 20-month-old boy who was found floating in a pond behind his family’s residence in Pomona Park. 

A family member found Zane Raut about 5:47 p.m. Thursday in a man-made pond at 193 Ridge Lake Road. He was pronounced dead about 7:20 p.m. at Putnam Community Medical Center.

The child’s grandfather performed CPR until rescue workers arrived at the scene, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office. 

“Life-saving efforts continued all the way to the hospital in the ambulance, and life-saving efforts were continued (at the hospital),” Col. Joe Wells said. 

There were numerous family members at the Ridge Lake Road home, including the child’s paternal grandparents and his father, all of whom live at the home, Wells said. Three other children were also at the home when Raut was discovered in the pond, Wells said. 

As of Thursday night, investigators did not know who found Raut or how long the child had been in the water. 

Sheriff’s office deputies and detectives were at the hospital and home, and investigators from the state Department of Children of Families were speaking with family at the hospital. 

Wells said numerous interviews had to be done before the sheriff’s office could get a bigger picture of what lead to Raut’s death. 

“We have a number of detectives on scene,” he said. “There are a lot of people to interview. We don’t know the amount of time the child was unaccounted for.”

One of the biggest pieces of information detectives were trying to gather was how long Raut was unsupervised and how long he was in the water, Wells said. 

Raut’s body was taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office in St. Augustine, where an autopsy will be performed. 

Wells said deputies and Department of Children and Families officials would continue to talk to family members. 

“So at this time, this investigation has become what we consider a major case investigation,” Wells said. “Our Major Crimes Unit, our Crime Scene Unit and victim services personnel are on scene working with the family. We’re still working on who was there, who saw what and trying to put a good timeline together.”

Palatka Daily News

1825 St. Johns Ave.
Palatka, FL 32177
(386) 312-5200


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