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News Release

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Media Relations

Toddler Drowns in LA River


Los Angeles: A 2-year-old girl died yesterday after she was swept down the LA River during a family outing at Montecito Heights Park.

On March 16, 2005, at about 2 p.m., Luis Hernandez took his two young nephews and 2-year-old niece, Lourdes Vega, to the park. The group went through a hole in the fence that separated the park from the Arroyo Seco Channel.

As the children played at the edge of the water, Lourdes was swept away by the swift current. Her uncle jumped in after her, but he was unable to rescue her. Hernandez was able to get out of the current and a witness called for help.

Lourdes was carried approximately 6 miles down the Los Angeles River before being pulled from the water by Los Angeles City Fire Department rescue personnel. She was flown by LAFD Fire 4 to Children's Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

At this time, no charges have been filed against Hernandez. However, Hollenbeck Area detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding Lourdes' death.

Anyone with information is asked to call Hollenbeck Homicide Detectives at 323-526-3000. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).