Rangers: ‘No indication’ parents were neglectful in girl’s suspected drowning in Mad River

DAYTON — An initial investigation into the suspected drowning of a 9-year-old girl in the Mad River at Eastwood MetroPark has found “no indication” of negligence on the parts of her parents, according to MetroParks Chief of Public Safety Mark Hess.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Body of 9-year-old girl recovered after days of searching on Mad River near Eastwood MetroPark

Rescue crews recovered the body of Nora Cal, 9, of Dayton, Monday morning following days of searching when she went missing in the Mad River Saturday afternoon. An autopsy was completed Tuesday, but Cal’s cause of death has not been officially ruled and remains under investigation, according to a spokesperson for the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

MetroParks rangers launched their investigation “immediately” after the girl went missing in the river, Hess said in statements to News Center 7′s John Bedell Tuesday. Detectives spoke with several people Saturday including Cal’s parents, a 10-year-old who was rescued, the kayaker who rescued the child, and other kayakers who were in the area.

“My detective spoke with the parents Saturday evening when this occurred and frequently throughout the weekend. Very detailed accounts of what happened and where the parents and others were at the time was documented,” Hess said

“The young girl, Nora, and her sister were with a family/friends group having a picnic nearby. I can’t give specific details about their statement to us, but at this point there is no indication that the parents were neglectful,” Hess said.

It was initially believed that Cal and a group of other children were swimming in the river, however Hess said their investigation found she was wading in the water and likely walked into an area where there was a steep drop-off.

Cal’s body was found about 2,000 feet downstream from where she was last seen in the water.

Initial reports by witnesses and a 911 caller indicated there were no signs of any parents near the area where the children were in the water.

“There was some people frantic there were some small children in the water and couldn’t swim – having some difficulty. And my friends got them out. The other adults that were on the riverbank told me that there’s seven of them and there are no parents here,” a kayaker said in a 911 call.

But as the investigation continues, there is no early signs of any criminal charges, Hess said.

“There is nothing to indicate criminal charges are warranted in this case at this time, but we are still in the early stages of the investigation,” he said.

The results of the investigation will be reviewed by the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office when it is completed, Hess said.

We’ll continue to update this story with new details as they become available.