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Affidavit: Mother arrested when 6-year-old son dies after near drowning

Posted at 12:39 PM, May 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-09 08:03:44-04

KILLEEN, TX — The mother of the 6-year-old boy who died after drowning in Killeen was arrested on Wednesday.

The 6-year-old boy taken to the hospital on May 27 after he nearly drowned in a pool died early Friday morning, police said.

Killeen police said officers were sent to the 600 block of W. Hallmark Avenue on Friday, and immediately began to perform CPR on the boy until medics arrived.

The boy was taken to Advent Health and later transferred to McLane's Children's Hospital in critical condition.

According to an affidavit, a witness said he was swimming at the deep end of the pool and saw something in the water. He said he and a friend were able to pull the boy out of the water.

The boy's mother, Katie Rhea, admitted to police that her son and his brother were playing with other children at the pool. She then left the pool and went up to her apartment.

She said the boys could not swim and did not have any flotation devices while he was alone in he pool. She said she also could not swim.

Rhea admitted that none of the people at the pool were responsible for watching her children. She was also receiving ongoing family based safety services at the time of the drowning.

This was also the 10th child protective services case. Rhea had prior CPS involvement, according to the affidavit.

A witness said Rhea was sitting on the porch of her apartment, looking at her phone and drinking alcohol while her sons were at the pool.

Officers measured the distance from her apartment to the pool and said it was more than 25 feet away.

Rhea was arrested by police on Monday and taken to the Bell County Jail.

She was charged with abandon endanger a child imminent danger. Her bond is set at $200,000.