A child drowned Saturday at Bottomless Lakes State Park, the second drowning at the park in less than three months.
The Chaves County Sheriff’s Office declined to release the victim’s name. The Hobbs Sun News identified the child as Kingdom Ferdinand T. Cobol, a 9-year-old boy from Hobbs who was at the park with his family.
Chaves County deputies responded to a call at 2:45 p.m. about a possible drowning at the park, which is east of Roswell, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.
Cobol was pulled from Lea Lake at the park and efforts to administer CPR were ongoing when deputies arrived. The child was transported to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center where he later died.
The release states that deputies believe the child may have been underwater for as long as 10 minutes before he was pulled out.
“Bottomless Lakes was said to have been very busy on Saturday and had a lot of people swimming in the area where this drowning occurred,” the release states. “To the best we can determine, this child went back into the water after his parents exited and was not noticed by any other adults until he was pulled from under the water.”
The drowning occurred in the regular swimming area at Lea Lake, according to the sheriff’s office release.
Park Superintendent Max Michanczyk said he could not provide any information on the drowning. Kat Runningwolf of the New Mexico State Parks said the park staff and regional director are still gathering information about the drowning from local law enforcement agencies.
Saturday’s drowning was the second at the park since May, when Alfredo Osornio, 22, of Artesia died after jumping from high bluffs into a lake and was knocked unconscious when he impacted the water.
GoFundMe page set up to cover family expenses
By: Kelly Farrell
Highland Middle School teacher Mary-An Cobol brought her three sons over from the Philippines in May and less than two months later, she’s lost her oldest in a tragic drowning accident Saturday at Bottomless Lakes State Park.
Her 9-year-old son, Kingdom Ferdinand T. Cobol, was a very active and smart child who loved Pokemon, drawing and running. He was going to be enrolled at Coronado Elementary School for the fourth grade and attended summer recess at Highland.
He came to Hobbs on May 30, according to Mary-An, who’s taught science at Highland since August 2017. The family had moved to Hobbs as Mary-An’s dependents after living in Tubod-Bitoon, Dumanjug in the Cebu province of the Philippines. Kingdom’s brothers are aged 6 and 2.
Mary-An explained to the News-Sun Monday that the family outing was part of a plan with other families to celebrate her co-teacher’s child’s birthday.
Lissa Crombie, a friend of the Cobol family, set up a GoFundMe page on Sunday to help raise funds to assist them with funeral expenses. Crombie also teaches for Hobbs Municipal Schools and called Mary-An a “very dedicated teacher.” She described the family as giving, wonderful and hard-working.
“She had just got her family over from the Philippines,” Crombie said about starting the fund-raising page. “She hadn’t seen her children in over a year and they didn’t have health insurance. They didn’t have accidental death insurance. It was a horrible tragedy. They have virtually no money because they’re paying both the agency in the Philippines and the agency here for their visa and everything. So, we didn’t know how else to help.”
The GoFundMe page had garnered $3,950 from 84 donations as of Monday afternoon. The goal is set at $10,000.
Mary-An explained donations would be very helpful due to the family’s insurance situation and the different expenses.
“So, it helps a lot,” she said. “We are very thankful for the sponsors, for the donations who share their blessings to us, especially at this point of time. We are financially in need because of the situation, so we were not expecting (this) to happen in our family.”
Kingdom’s services are pending with Griffin Funeral Home in Hobbs. The GoFundMe page may be accessed at: https://www.gofundme.com/funeral-for-mary-an-cobols-son.
Kelly Farrell can be reached at email@example.com.