AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – It has been nearly two months since 6-year-old David Puckett passed away after he was reported missing on New Year’s Eve.
David’s mother said she is constantly reminded of his tragic death.
“We pass that pond every day,” Stephanie Puckett said. “Whether it’s to run errands or just going there to ask the ‘whys’ and ‘hows.’”
Her little boy accidentally drowned in the pond at Olympic Park in Aurora. Police found his body on Jan. 3. Earlier this week, Stephanie asked Aurora City Council to consider covering the pond. She wants to make the area safer for the many kids who play in the park.
“Sitting next to this pond are two elementary schools filled with curious children,” she said Monday. “As our family picks up the pieces and tries to push forward, that’s one thing that we cannot ignore. Since David’s death we’ve seen other kids playing in that pond and it’s terrifying.”
Stephanie said she would like to see the pond converted into a splash pad, similar to the one outside Denver’s Union Station. Councilwoman Barbara Cleland supports the idea.
“(The pond) is a reminder of the tragedy that happened accidentally and hopefully turning it into a splash pond would be something positive,” Cleland told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.
Cleland said she personally met with Stephanie a couple weeks ago and has already spoken with her fellow council members as well as the city manager. The potential project is in its very early stages, Cleland added, and that it will come down to how much it costs.
“We’re going to get a figure to see what it may costs to change the pond into a splash pond,” she said.
At this point, it’s not clear how much the conversion would cost or if it is even technically possible. Yet Stephanie said she will start a fundraiser in honor of David to make sure the pond doesn’t take another life.
“This is just something that our family is very passionate about so that no other family has to go through it,” Stephanie said.
Cleland said she plans to have an estimated cost to present to council in May with a goal of having it implemented into the city’s 2018 budget.
Statement to CBS4 From Stephanie Puckett
My family would like to see the pond converted because we don’t want to see any other family go through a tragedy like we did, there have been several kids at the pond playing in the water which is very terrifying to us.
The idea for the splash pad came about by my sister’s and myself getting together and talking about David’s likes. He loved playing at splash pads in other areas of the city. This would be an amazing way to give our communities children and our own children a place to have fun that is safe.
At this time we’re are working to set up an account for people to make contributions, we will be reaching out to our communities to help raise awareness, and are working on ideals for fund raising.
This is definitely something that we are passionate about and believe will help the city. Parents will have a safe place for their children to enjoy again.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 Weekend Morning News and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.