A boy who fell through the ice at a Lansdowne pond and remained in the water for over an hour died, Baltimore County police said Tuesday morning.
Rhyanna Cleckley was planning her daughter's second birthday party this week.
But now, she's planning her 13-year-old son's funeral.
Her son, Kyron Aikens, was one of four boys who fell through ice at a Lansdowne pond Sunday afternoon. First responders searched for Kyron for more than an hour before pulling him from the muddy water; police announced Tuesday that he had died.
"No mother should have to go through this," Cleckley said at her home on Marbourne Avenue in Southwest Baltimore, where her family gathered Tuesday.
One of the other boys, Chive Omar Benjamin,, 12, of Columbia, was pulled from the water by bystanders, who police say provided medical care until officers and medical personnel arrived. He remains in critical condition. Two other boys were able to get out of the pond on their own.
Cleckley said she first learned that something had happened to her son when one of the other boys' parents received a call that they were at St. Agnes Hospital. But when Cleckley arrived, she said, her son was not there. So she drove to the pond in Lansdowne, at Hillcrest Park on 3rd Avenue, and found dozens of police and fire crews on the scene.
She said she began frantically asking officers and firefighters, "Is there another child still down there?"
She was unable to get an answer, but was eventually told that crews were still searching for her son and she was asked to wait in the back of an ambulance.
"It was a horrible, tragic nightmare," she said.
Kyron was pulled from the pond at 2:47 p.m., after having been in the water for over an hour, county police said. Cleckley said she didn't get to see him when he was pulled out, but one of the responders at the scene said he still had a pulse and had gone into cardiac arrest. He was taken to St. Agnes and later transferred to Johns Hopkins Hospital.
She said he never regained consciousness, but she spoke to him in his hospital room Monday.
"I told him I love him and we were all waiting for his recovery," she said.
She had not given up hope, but said she also told him, "If you can't fight no more, it was OK."
Her son's teachers and his wrestling coach sat with family in the hospital waiting room, she said.
Kyron was a sixth-grader at Lakeland Elementary/Middle School in the city. She said he recently took it upon himself to enroll in the Higher Achievement program after school and had not missed a day of that program.
He was also a wrestler who recently won a silver medal in the Maryland State Wrestling Association Future Champion Series in Columbia.
"He was a happy-go-lucky kid," said his coach, Antonio McCree, who said he went straight to the hospital after learning about the incident on Monday morning. "He was always smiling. He loved to make other people laugh. He kept everyone's spirit high."
McCree said Kyron had joined the Lakeland Lions team in November and was excited after winning his silver medal.
"The next day he wore it to school. He wore it to school three days in a row," said McCree, who is a mentor and a counselor at Lakeland.
He said Kyron, though only in the sixth grade, was already talking about wrestling at Edmondson-Westside High School.
Kyron even had begun to teach his 1-year-old sister how to place people into a headlock, his mother said with a smile, as the little girl bounded around the apartment Tuesday. She wore a Hello Kitty-printed skirt, which Cleckley said her son had picked out for his sister to wear to the family birthday party.
Cleckley said her son loved watching Godzilla movies with his grandparents, liked to dance, and from a young age could identify motorcycles by the sound of their engine. She said he was often the center of attention and adventurous, and aspired to be a stuntman.
He was also quick to make friends. His family said his friends at the pond had tried to form a chain to pull him from the water.
Police on Monday identified the two boys who were able to get out of the water themselves as Junior Wilbert Thomas, 8, of the 7200 block of Calm Sunset Road in Columbia, and Jujuan Wilder, 12, of the 3400 block of Spellman Road in Brooklyn Park. Benjamin, who was rescued by two bystanders, remains at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Hopkins.
Baltimore County Recreation and Parks officials said the pond is marked with signs warning against swimming, skating or walking on ice, and that such activities are banned at ponds in county parks.