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Owner of Tamarac home where 2-year-old drowned hires attorney

Josiah Rivera was found unresponsive in a neighbor's pool and later died

TAMARAC, Fla. – Broward Sheriff's deputies responding to a possible drowning incident last Friday found a father attempting CPR on his 2-year-old son.

The incident happened at Northwest 68th Terrace and investigators believe that Josiah Rivera wandered into a neighbor's yard and was found a short time later in the pool unresponsive.

Rivera was rushed to Coral Springs Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The owner of the home whose pool Rivera fell into has received thousands of dollars of fines for not enclosing the pool, the City of Tamarac told Local 10 reporter Christina Vazquez.

According to Tamarac code, pools are required to be secured by either a screened enclosure or a fence. The home where the boy drowned has neither.

Broward County property records show the home where the boy lived was purchased in April. The former homeowner Kim Burgess, who happens to be the former director of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, made several attempts to warn the city about her neighbor's pool.

"If the fence had been there, the baby would not have died," Burgess said.

According to an attorney, Omar Johansson, hired by the owner of the home where the incident took place, there was a temporary black barrier in place and the child was following the family dog who trampled the temporary barrier.

Johansson also noted that the city failed to properly notify the homeowner that there were fines assessed for improper pool enclosure.

The City of Tamarac declined further comment now that the matter is under criminal investigation by BSO homicide detectives.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page, seeking donations to help fund final arrangements for their son.