Child drowns in Muskegon River in Big...

Child drowns in Muskegon River in Big Rapids

There are 139 comments on the WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan story from May 19, 2008, titled Child drowns in Muskegon River in Big Rapids. In it, WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan reports that:

Police say a 2 1 2-year-old boy drowned in the Muskegon River while visiting a park with his grandfather.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan.

Historymom

Taylor, MI

#114 May 20, 2008
ladydragonfly wrote:
<quoted text>
Very well put.
This is why Playscape was designed the way it was. Children were meant to play within the confines of the playground that was designed and built for them. They were not to be down by the river. After the Simmons girls drowned and the signs went up, any parent, grandparent, guardian, babysitter, etc that lets a child play by the river is irresponsible. Unless a person cannot read, everyone knows that the river is dangerous. Playscape was built to keep kids safe! The pavilion is not even by the river, there are no excuses!
Parent

Wyoming, MI

#115 May 20, 2008
Pam wrote:
Too many elderly people raising their grandchildren. Not the way its suppose to be. Good thing he had his grandparents, his own must be usless. But again, people having children who cant take care of them and I as a grandparent would take great care but am not as sharp as I use to be. Thats why grandparents arent suppose to be raising their grandchildren. Too bad such a dis-functional family and a little boy pays.
Who in the world said this man is elderly? I have several friends in their late 30's and 40's who are grandparents and most of the time raising these children! I would hardly call this family dysfunctional! It sounds like they have much more love and sacrifices than many parents. My heart goes out to Mr. and Mrs. Connor. Please don't beat yourselves up for too long, this was truly and accident.
ladydragonfly

Littleton, CO

#116 May 20, 2008
Mother of 3 wrote:
<quoted text>yes Stephanie I do take every precaution, I grew up on the Muskegon river and lifejackets are a must. I too go to that park often with my children I really could compromise beauty for safety though. There are a lot of trails along that river for adults to enjoy the beauty but this is the only park for children to enjoy playtime. And I'm not yelling at Scott persay but showing him that sometimes its not always worth placing blame and being so harsh to people in a bad situation. I think of my children constantly when i'm with them and especially when I am away from them (which is not often, only for work while they are at school)Thank you Stephanie for realizing that people need to pull together and help each other. Children are innocent and we are the responsible ones. They learn from us.
Scott's harsh words were because he was thinking of his own children and knew that it is because he hears stories like this all time, he holds their hands even tighter. Many of his harsh words were directed at the women that gave birth to the little boy (I can't all her mother, Susan is his mother not Sara). Sometimes even the nicest people need a slap in the face to make them watch their children better. My heart absolutely grieves for this couple. But other parents reading the story need to hear the harsh words, so they will watch even closer. It is better to hear these harsh words and take them to heart than to live through the nightmare this couple is living through.
grmomma

Taylor, MI

#117 May 20, 2008
My hearts and prayers are with you in this time of mourning...I am so sorry for the loss of your little angel..To the "birth mother" of this child...YOU LOST HIM A LONG TIME AGO, so I have NO sympathy for any pain you MAY be feeling. Obviously if you didn't have custody, you didn't love this child to begin with, and maybe, just maybe if you took responsibility for your own child a long time ago, this may not have happened.Althou the kind of parent you are,the child may have ended up abused or neglected..Again I am very sorry for the REAL parents of this angel !!!!
Mother of 3

Greenville, MI

#118 May 20, 2008
ladydragonfly wrote:
<quoted text>
Scott's harsh words were because he was thinking of his own children and knew that it is because he hears stories like this all time, he holds their hands even tighter. Many of his harsh words were directed at the women that gave birth to the little boy (I can't all her mother, Susan is his mother not Sara). Sometimes even the nicest people need a slap in the face to make them watch their children better. My heart absolutely grieves for this couple. But other parents reading the story need to hear the harsh words, so they will watch even closer. It is better to hear these harsh words and take them to heart than to live through the nightmare this couple is living through.
Ladydragonfly, I do understand Scott's stance when I heard the horrible news I silently slipped into each of my childrens room and said a little prayer for thier protection. I just feel there is a time and a place and sometime some comments are better said if phrased differently. I too will hold my childrens hands a little tighter I too will watch a little more closely not just for my own children but for others as well. Kudo's to Scott for being so caring I think his Niece and Nephew are very lucky! I mean absolutely no harm to anyone here. And I don't totally disagree with everything he said, just how it was said. Family and Friends are reading this as well as those of us who are complete strangers, myself being related to the motorcyclist last week I know how some things that are on here can hurt deeply even if they aren't meant to. It's human nature to want to assign blame but sometimes there is just no blame to assign. Sometimes believe it or not no matter how careful, well prepared, or guarded we are. Bad things happen. Scott should think I mean truly think about how he would feel if this was one of the babie's in his care, and people were spouting off like this at him. A little compassion goes a long way, a little kindness makes even the darkest day brighter. Just something to think about for all of us.
Sherri

Grandville, MI

#119 May 20, 2008
I fell sorry for this family and our prayers are with them.
I lived in Big Rapids for 10 years and whenever we took our family to Hemlock Park, we kept a close eye on them. Because of the rules we had always told our children and reinforced, none of them went near the water. And these are the same rules we now use when we take our grandchildren there. Everywhere you take children, there are some risks, we as adults have to set guidelines and reinforce them with our children so we can reduce the number of accidents each year and not wait for someone else to do something.

Since: May 08

Lansing

#120 May 20, 2008
Again, I feel this was just a terrible tragedy and I cannot imagine losing a child. I hope I never have to go through that. And Woodtv should be ashamed for interviewing Sara Porter. She should go back into her trashy trailer house and continue to do what she was doing, wasting oxygen. And I know her so I can say that. THe grandparents of Jacob gave him the life he never would have had with his birth mother.
Cin

Grand Rapids, MI

#121 May 20, 2008
Having two children of my own (one grown, one 13 years old), I know how fast they can move). This park "Playscape" is fenced in, and the grandfather was sitting and watching the whole time. The little boy may have climbed the fence, but the grandfather would have been watching for him to go past him, not to go over a fence. Of course, I would not blame the grandfather, and it is a tragic accident. My heart goes out to Tim and his family. I haven't met Tim, but my sister just moved across the street from this family, and she has spoken well of them. They are raising the grandchildren, and like many of you know, it only takes a second or two for a young child to get away from you, even if you SEE them, accidents can happen. My daughter was standing right beside me when she was about 1 and 1/2 when she lifted the toilet seat and scooped some of the blue "bleach" water into one of her toy cups and drank it. It could have just as easily been a fall into the toilet resulting in drowning. Accidents can happen, no matter how careful we are. We need to differentiate between gross neglect and accidents, and when people are grieving, reach out and extend our love and care to them, not point fingers and say they've failed. They already feel awful enough. Now is the time to encourage, support, and love them. Let's all do what we can for this family, and help them heal through this time.
sam

United States

#122 May 20, 2008
My regards to the family, truly. Sometimes kids can get away and parents are busy doing something, but how can a child that small get out of your sight in that amount of time?
Cin

Grand Rapids, MI

#123 May 20, 2008
rval2 wrote:
Is anyone near that park? I am Curious, How close is the river to the playground equipment? I couldnt tell from the video; Being that it was early in the morning, Were there other people there who didn't notice this little boy wandering off, or was the playground pretty much deserted?
Jacob didn't drown in the river, it was a small creek, which is about maybe 30 feet or so from the playscape. It isn't far at all. So, it is very easy for a child to go without being noticed and fall down the bank of the creek. The creek flows into the river, which isn't far from the playscape, either.

“...all but 6...UNLESS”

Since: Mar 08

The Merry Ol Land Of Oz

#124 May 20, 2008
Cin wrote:
<quoted text>
Jacob didn't drown in the river, it was a small creek, which is about maybe 30 feet or so from the playscape. It isn't far at all. So, it is very easy for a child to go without being noticed and fall down the bank of the creek. The creek flows into the river, which isn't far from the playscape, either.
So, Grandpa could have turned to put the lock on the stroller and the boy could disappear in a matter of a few seconds? I couldn't tell very well from the video, but it looks there is a tree line between the playground and the creek?
Wendy

Ionia, MI

#125 May 20, 2008
Pam wrote:
Too many elderly people raising their grandchildren. Not the way its suppose to be. Good thing he had his grandparents, his own must be usless. But again, people having children who cant take care of them and I as a grandparent would take great care but am not as sharp as I use to be. Thats why grandparents arent suppose to be raising their grandchildren. Too bad such a dis-functional family and a little boy pays.
Too bad there are so many close minded individuals like yourself! I see 40+ year old people with children all the time! Either people are too young or too old to have children...so what age do YOU think is appropriate? ACCIDENTS happen!
Pedro

United States

#126 May 20, 2008
Anybody who is dogging on the grandparent better lead the "Perfect life"!! Last I knew there was only one person who did that and Jacob is with him now.
Wendy

Ionia, MI

#127 May 20, 2008
rval2 wrote:
Hey, all you "Scott Bashers,"
~I don't think that he is full of hate; as he as posted, he is Direct; Nothing wrong with that; Unfortunately, some people need that type of "in your face" directive...You people don't think that we'll hear about another drowning because there wasn't a life jacket being used, or another drowining because there wasn't a lock on a gate....????
It is like the woman who goes out jogging alone at night in a secluded area....How Many more women have to be raped or killed or both because of these circumstances before Women get it: DON'T GO JOGGING ALONE AT NIGHT OR IN A "SECLUDED AREA"....
WAKE UP CALL FOLKS...DON'T HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON ON THESE THINGS
No actually Scott is a complete ASS in my opinion. I don't care if he watches his niece and nephew 24/7, which is a complete lie. Do you watch them when they are sleeping all night long or while you are at work? How about when they are at school? Children have accidents at ALL ages even WHILE you're watching them. Scott needs to grow up and stop bashing someone because of an ACCIDENT. There's a reason people are bashing Scott...it's because he has NO clue. Hid "directedness" is extremely insulting to all parents and grandparents who watch their children very carefully and accidents still occur.
Brandy

Big Rapids, MI

#128 May 20, 2008
this is very sad i was at work when this happen 911 called and told us a 2 year old was missing i could not even think of what these people r going through i have 3 kids of my own they r my life i dont think people should be to hard on the grandfather no one knows what happen there other then him so people should not run their mouth about what happen there i just wanted to say i feel for this family and they should do more with the river so this doesnt happen again this river hurts people and kills people every year they need to do more
Wendy

Ionia, MI

#129 May 20, 2008
Pam... I want to apologize if I was rude. However, I do know a lot of people who raise their Grandchildren. No, it shouldn't happen, but it does. I know people in their late 40s and 50s who adopt children so they will lead better lives. It is truly an accident that this little boy drowned, so I was a little irritated by Scott and all of the other people coming down so hard on this Grandfather. No one could imagine the pain he is feeling unless they have lost a child or grandchild. Children take off quickly...you turn your head for a split second and they are gone. I don't feel bad for the "birth mother" of the child, obviously she's not a good enough parent to have her child, but who knows, she could have been trying to turn her life around. No one truly knows. All I know is that it's a tragic story and I really feel badly for the Grandfather, his wife, and other children. So I am sorry if I came off as rude to you...

“...all but 6...UNLESS”

Since: Mar 08

The Merry Ol Land Of Oz

#130 May 20, 2008
Wendy wrote:
<quoted text>
No actually Scott is a complete ASS in my opinion. I don't care if he watches his niece and nephew 24/7, which is a complete lie. Do you watch them when they are sleeping all night long or while you are at work? How about when they are at school? Children have accidents at ALL ages even WHILE you're watching them. Scott needs to grow up and stop bashing someone because of an ACCIDENT. There's a reason people are bashing Scott...it's because he has NO clue. Hid "directedness" is extremely insulting to all parents and grandparents who watch their children very carefully and accidents still occur.
Perhaps you took his post out of context...I think he was Truly directing this at the people who don't watch their kids...remember last summer when that little 4 year old boy drowned in the neighbor's swimming pool [No Lock on Gate]...and come to find out, this mother had numerous CPS complaints on file for this exact thing, neglecting her child[ren];

Perhaps Scott should not have used This Grandfather to make his point, but none-the-less, the point still needs to be made...and made...and made...
todd stanwood mi

United States

#131 May 20, 2008
I really feel for the family this is a terrable thing to happen. But you need to watch your kids like a hawk in parks like that with fast water. You should never take your eye off them in other parks because of the petafiles. You should make theme were water safty vest.
Pam

Mitchell, SD

#132 May 20, 2008
Susan Porter wrote:
This station and tv 13 have done a extremely poor job in news casting. I am the mother of Jacob Porter. My name is Susan Porter. The woman who contacted these two stations is Jacobs birthmother, my daughter Sarah Porter. She has never had custody of Jacob as she could not care for him and she had no business of contact either television station. these two stations have not only done a very shoddy and very unprofessional newscasting job but have also allowed Sarah to turn my sons death into her moment in the limelight. I cannot believe that these stations did not realize that when a child is adopted the birth parents legal rights are terminated. So you tell me how can they legally allow someone with no "legal" relationship to speak on a death and not contact a legal parent. I sure cannot understand this. My son has died and yet they have taken my son away from his father and I again. Thank you to all of the lovely station personnel.
I am so sorry for your loss. No words can help heal your family's broken heart. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
RIP JACOB THOMAS PORTER

Big Rapids, MI

#133 May 20, 2008
Scott wrote:
What a crying shame that adults can be so damned incompetent about simply keeping an eye on kids at all times, ESPECIALLY when they are so young and you're obviously close to a water source. What makes it even more senseless is that so-called adults just can't seem to learn from others mistakes like this, and like the one's where kids are falling out of windows or playing with matches or lighters etc.
WTF is wrong with people, especially parents/guardians etc. There is NO excuse for this type of carelessness, and I mean NONE!
I have a nephew that just turned 6 and a little niece that just turned 6-month's old. I have spent a great deal of time with both kids since they were first born, in-fact both have been living with me since last September and I ALWAYS know where they are and what they are doing and know they are safe from both predator's or senseless things like yet another child wandering off and drowning or getting snatched by some sick person.
I took the simple time and modest expense of child "proofing" my home to make it extra safe for kids, including electrical outlet inserts in every single outlet that's not being used. Child proof door knob covers on the basement stairwell door and utility room closet (where laundry detergents/cleaners are stored high up on shelves to begin with) that even an adult has a little "fun" trying to turn the knob, cabinet locks for the kitchen sink and bathroom sinks so they can't accidentially get into other cleaners, soaps/shampoos etc.
Not to mention I've ALWAYS made a conscience effort to make sure the handle of ALL pans are turned inward towards the center of the stove so no little heads can bump into them and possibly knock the hot contents on them. But they already know the steer clear of the stove when I'm cooking and to walk around the kitchen center island and not past the stove/oven when in use.
Geesh, just a lot of inexpensive common sense safety features on top of keeping a close eye/ear on them at all times, same when going to stores etc. I NEVER leave them in the truck by themselves, not even for a two minute quick run in to buy a soda etc. They always go with me and are kept almost hipside so if anyone even thought about trying to snatch and run they wouldn't get but maybe two feet and I'd be choking the miserable life out of them.
Bottom line parents, grand parents, aunts/uncles, guardians etc. GET YOUR INCOMPETENT HEADS OUT OF YOUR @SSES and pay the hell attention to the little one's around you at ALL TIMES, ESPECIALLY when a parent has entrusted you with their care and safety. I'm sure this Grandfather feels bad and all that boo hoo stuff and it is indeed a tragedy, a tragedy that adults can be so damned incompetent and don't even absorb/learn from others ignorance and heartache from their ignorance.
I know if this jackass was in-charge of my Nephew and/or Niece and something as simple and preventable as the above happened I would NEVER forgive him/her and would feel they deserve to live with guilt, shame, regret, torment the rest of their life. YES, it sounds harsh but people like this need to feel extreme shame for their incompetence for failing the child in their care...
you people really make me sick judging people when you dont even know who they are. This family lives right across the street from me and the grandfather is by all means not a careless person. I have seen him a million times with his grandchildren and he is great with them. and you dont even know the whole story about what happend you people need to get your heads out of your @sses and open your eyes. That maybe just maybe this was a SIMPLE ACCIDENT which is was !!!! a caring neighbor of Jacob Thomas Porter

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