Bernard Latimore, age 10
By Austin L. Miller
Published: Saturday, November 28, 2009 at 6:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, November 28, 2009 at 6:05 p.m.
The woman who was taken to a hospital Friday afternoon after her 10-year-old autistic son drowned in a murky swimming pool has been released and is feeling much better, according to a Marion County Sheriff’s official.
Katese Richardson was overcome with grief when she saw her son’s body before it was taken away by the Medical Examiner’s Office. She was released from the hospital Friday night, but no one was at her home Saturday afternoon.
Bernard Latimore, an autistic child who could not speak, had wandered away from his Northwest 57th Court home and could not be found despite the search efforts of sheriff’s deputies, canines and neighbors. His body eventually was found in a nearby neighbor’s pool.
Additional details became available Saturday from a Sheriff’s Office report.
Richardson left her home around 8 a.m. for work, leaving her 16-year-old son, Bernard, and her two other children at the home. One of the children, the woman told deputies, saw Bernard leave the home and walk south on Northwest 57th Court. The child tried to stop her brother from leaving, but he kept walking.
The girl, officials say, then woke up her 16-year-old brother, and they went outside looking for Bernard. Sheriff’s officials said Richardson called them at 10:12 a.m.
During the search, officials came upon a neighbor who said he had been sleeping when he heard someone knocking on the door. The man said he looked outside and saw someone carrying a pink pillow case. Thinking it was a salesman, the man ignored the knock.
About 11:30 a.m., two deputies went to a nearby residence that had a pool. They did not see anything, and the doors were locked. The pool, officials say, had algae and no one could see the bottom.
The woman who lives there told the Star-Banner on Saturday that she and her mother came home sometime after 1 p.m. and noticed a pillow floating in the pool. They called officials, who in turn saw a pink pillow floating on the south side of the pool.
An autopsy was not performed on the child on Saturday, according to officials.