Chief: Teen who died in Land of Illusion incident wasn’t found for 30 minutes because water like ‘a pond’

Credit: Journal News

Mykiara Jones, 14, of Dayton, died after a drowning report at Land of Illusion's Aqua Adventures waterpark after she was flown to Dayton Children's Hospital.

Credit: Journal News

A local school district is mourning the loss of one of its students as the sheriff’s office is continuing to investigate the deadly incident.

Mykiara Jones, 14, a Dayton native who was an incoming freshman at Middletown High School died Tuesday night at the Land of Illusion’s Aqua Adventures Waterpark, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office confirmed Wednesday morning.

The incident investigation is ongoing, according to an official with the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

In a letter sent to district parents Wednesday morning, Middletown City Schools Superintendent Marlon Styles wrote that the mother of the girl works in the district so “we will be wrapping our arms around her during this extremely difficult time.”

The Student Services Department is working with Access Counseling to have grief counselors available to support students, staff and parents as needed, according to Styles. Access Counseling can be reached at 513-649-8008, Ext. 038.

Butler County Sheriff deputies were called to Land of Illusion Amusement Park at 8762 Thomas Road in Madison Twp. for a report of a juvenile drowning, according to the office. The Madison Twp. EMS and the Land of Illusion staff were attempting to locate the girl who went underwater at approximately 5 p.m.

Kent Hall, Madison Twp. fire chief, said he was the first on the scene and he called for assistance from the Middletown and Franklin fire department water rescue crews and for CareFlight from Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.

A Land of Illusion lifeguard located Jones in the water at about 5:30 p.m., 30 minutes later, according to the sheriff’s office. She was flown to Dayton Children’s Hospital, where she died.

When asked why it took 30 minutes to locate Jones, Hall described the water park as “a pond” and the water isn’t clear like a swimming pool.

The BCSO received two 911 calls regarding the search, according to the calls obtained by this news outlet.

One caller said the girl wasn’t wearing a life jacket. The teen went into the water and “she never came back up,” the caller told dispatchers.

She said the girl was missing for about 12 minutes at the time.

“This is a tragedy no parent should have to endure,” Sheriff Richard Jones said in a press release. “These are the calls first responders dread and have difficulty dealing with.”

In a post on its Facebook page, Land of Illusion said it is “saddened to learn of the passing of a young girl” at the Aqua Adventure Park.

The park was closed Wednesday “out of respect for her and her family, and for our employees who are also dealing with this tragedy,” the Facebook post said.

Mykiara Jones, 14, a Dayton native who was an incoming freshman at Middletown High School, drown Tuesday evening at the Land of Illusion’s Aqua Adventures Waterpark. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Mykiara Jones, 14, a Dayton native who was an incoming freshman at Middletown High School, drown Tuesday evening at the Land of Illusion’s Aqua Adventures Waterpark. SUBMITTED PHOTO