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Police identify 5-year-old drowning victim

Posted at 8:18 AM, Jun 01, 2016

Police have now identified the drowning victim at Vineyard Lake Monday.

5-year-old Achilles Maxson was walking towards a relative, who was laying on a raft in the water, when he fell in.

"The relative saw him coming out and directed him back into shore," said David Elwell, Chief of Police at the Columbia Township Police Department.

Maxson didn't stop. He continued walking and fell into the water.

"As soon as he went under water, the relative jumped into the lake to try and rescue him but immediately lost sight of him," said Elwell.

Police say Maxson was autistic.

Responders from multiple agencies used divers, sonar equipment, even a helicopter in the recover effort.

"Our fire department personnel organized a long line of staff, with a straight line, to work to the lake as far out as they could trying to find him," said Elwell.

After two and a half hours of searching, crews found Maxson's body.

"The victim was found in about 15 feet of water and was immediately removed," said Elwell. "The medical staff on scene decided to consider live saving efforts on him."

Mason was transported to Henry Ford Allegiance Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Regardless of a child's swimming ability, it's always a good idea to have eyes on them at all times.

"Many people think of a personal flotation device for when you're on a boat, which is necessary but also for young children, not a bad idea to have them on kids when they are near water," said Elwell.

Assisting at the scene was the Jackson County Sheriff and Undersheriff (and deputies), dive teams from both the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and the Lenawee County Sheriff's Department, Columbia Township Fire Department, Cambridge Township Fire Department, Department of Natural Resources officers, and the Promedica helicopter from Toledo.