TEXAS CITY — A nearly 5 1/2 hour search for a missing 2-year-old girl ended in tragedy early Sunday morning when divers found her body in a park pond.

Kaloni Carbin of Beaumont was at a family reunion at Carver Park in West Texas City when she went missing at about 7 p.m. on Saturday.

As police and volunteers combed the neighborhood, members of the Galveston Police Department's dive team searched a large pond that is in the park.

Her body was found on the northwest side of the pond at about midnight after divers searched the pond for about two hours, Texas City Police Chief Robert Burby said.

Carbin's mother and other family members could be seen crying when they were told of the drowning.

The body of water, a popular attraction and feature at the park, is about 8 to 10 feet deep, officials said. It is not fenced, but swimming in the pond is prohibited by city ordinance.

Police did not confirm who was responsible for watching the child or how she may have slipped away from her parents during the reunion.

Police sent out a citywide phone call alert at about 8 p.m. and were helped by West Texas City residents, the Galveston County Sheriff's Office and Galveston County Precinct 3 Constable office deputies in the search.

An 11-person search team from the county also joined the search.

Texas City police protocol in such cases is to call in all available officers and set up a command post near where the missing child was last seen.

Police, with the help of area residents who know the community, go door-to-door to alert neighbors. They also ask for permission to search in houses and yards in an effort to find the child.

Police also put up a perimeter of about 10 square blocks during the initial stage of the search and widen it when the first searches are not successful. A group of volunteers, often graduates of the Texas City Citizens Police Academy help coordinate the volunteers and search effort.

Carbin's drowning is the second involving a child in Texas City in the past month. On June 10, Terrell Harris, 15, drowned when he went into the waters of an isolated pond behind the South Point subdivision in West Texas City.

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or tjaulds@galvnews.com.

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(11) comments

Walter Manuel

We pray that this child is found safe and brought home. Prayers go out to the family and to all of those who are out there searching for her safe return.

Godspeed to everyone involved....

Mike Trube

Oh how horribly sad.

Lewis Pugh

Was it necessary to say the family could be seen crying when the child was recovered????? What do you think they would be doing? Celebrating? Media coverage here and on other media does not need the dramatization...Most people can do without it.... Such a horrible tragedy, My sincere prayers go out for all the family and loved ones. Also for those who were involved in the search..

Walter Manuel

Such sad news for this child and her family. Prayers go out to the family and everyone involved.

A big thanks to all of the rescuers and everyone else that was part of the search.

Gary Miller

Mix water and babies to get tragedy.
When water is in reach of a child parents need to be extra careful. The child isn't dead because the water was there. The baby is dead because it's parents weren't careful enough.
The baby may have been born because it's parents were careless and died because it's parents were careless.

I know it sounds cruel but nice doesn't save a child's life.

Lyra Mitchell

Way to kick someone when they're down. I only wish you were brave enough to make your ugly assumptions in front of the grieving family.

Shelly Pearl

May that little angel RIP. I know her family is brokenhearted and my prayers go out to them. [thumbup]

Sheila Bruno-Burton O'Neal

Careless parents doesn'tnecessarily equate to water, babies and tragedy. As an over-protected parent and over-protected grandmother, they are able to get away from you regardless. Why not lay the blame in its respective place? Water in an 8 to 10 foot deep pond, unfenced, located in a family friendly community park, with child luring playgrounds was/is a recipe for disaster. City park officials advertise the pond as a featured main attraction. Obviously, beauty of this feature has priority over death. Let's not limit this type of tragedy to babies and children, a disoriented adult is capable of suffering the same results. I agree the pond in the park does possess beauty, but why 8 to 10 feet? Swimming pools containing as much as 3 feet of water are required by city ordinances to be fenced with a height requirement and locks. Why the same is not required for ponds? Argumentatively, the posted "NO Swimming" signs posted near the pond will defend the difference. However, a restricted wall barrier or fencing would not take away the beauty of the pond...death has already done that! The pond needs to be fenced, and the identity of the problem has been revealed. Expeditiously, the focus needs to be geared towards the solution. No doubt the community is blessed to have access to a community park of this magnitude. But, family outtings of enjoyment will no longer exist. Paranoia prevails and dominates our emotions. The beauty of the park and its ponds have earned an undeserving title related to death. Regardless to who should bare the burden of this tragedy the fact remains undeniably, an innocent child is dead! What a price to pay because the problem wasn't addressed prior? Ultimately, all the cards are on the table! ACTION has become mandatory and can no longer masquerade itself. CHANGE has been known to play a positive part in everyday life. Change is desperately needed to alleviate any future nightmares. The community is begging for a positive outcome and we be able to once again enjoy the park's purpose.True, this tragedy has forced us to be more attentive of our little angels. Meanwhile, we employ the consideration of our city officials as we thank you in advance. God bless Little Miss Kaloni and her beloved family, as we ask it all in Jesus name!!!

Tamala Robinson

Thank you Sheila for posting your opinion and the opinion of most in West Texas City since Galveston Daily News felt it was not necessary to post my opinion. The mayor of Texas City and all others officials should feel in part responsible for NOT having a barrier. We are tax payers and the Mayor should not say there will NOT be a barrior coming in the future!! I'm tired of politics. Let's do what is right as human beings. As I said, we as tax payers deserve a say and we say that a fence or barrier should enclose the pond. So much has been taken away from that community to fund the Nessler center, but I am not going to sit down and be quiet anymore. My face and my voice will be be heard at meetings, phone calls until the city of Texas City take steps toward the right direction and do what is right by the citizens and tax payers. I was there to see the mother's face and her tears. I was there to talk to the father and I know what it feels likes to lose a child or children in a tragic event and one that has drowned!! This should not happen again in one of our parks.

Island Bred

Since West Texas City lost Sims maybe they could adopt Carver. Fencing is cheap and donations would be wonderful way to get that going. Put your actions where your passion is. Meanwhile - watch your children. This is truely tragic but blaming others is not the answer to the problem.

Lars Faltskog

Response to IHOG posted at 10:56 am on Sun, Jul 7, 2013:

I'll have to agree with you on this one. Problem is, the truth hurts to some folks. Having family get-togethers can be fun, but when it involves children, the buck has to stop somewhere in regard to who has the duty to watch the children.

A fence/barrier isn't "the buck that stops here" and a fence/barrier is not on duty to watch children, a responsible parent/caregiver should be. There's dangers that lie in just about anything. Regulating and barrier-placing won't take dangers away. And, yes, Margurite is right: children must be watched. Placing a leash on the wrist of small children may not be in the fan-base category of some, but doing so is a lot better than having the end result, as was this tragedy.

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