CARMEL, N.Y. – Boaters rescued a 6-year-old girl from a small reservoir north of New York City late Monday afternoon after finding her clinging to the floating corpse of a family friend who had taken her to the pretty lake to cool off.
Investigators were still trying to piece together exactly what happened to the child and her caregiver, identified by authorities as Pamela Kaner, 59, of Brewster.
No swimming or wading is allowed in Lake Gleneida, which is part of New York City's water supply system, but the girl told police that Kaner brought her into the water and was holding her before something went wrong.
An autopsy is planned to see if Kaner then drowned, or suffered some other medical emergency.
A group of people in a rowboat heard the girl crying for help at around 5 p.m. and found her holding on to Kaner's body, floating some distance from shore, Carmel Police Chief Michael Johnson said. The lake is about 730 yards across at its widest point — about 14 times the width of an American football field.
The boaters pulled the girl from the water and brought her to shore. She was treated at a hospital, but was not seriously harmed. Kaner's body was retrieved by firefighters, who paddled out in a commandeered boat.
"I believe it was traumatic for the child," Johnson said.