Mother of boy who drowned wants Aurora pond replaced with splash pad

AURORA, Colo. -- A mother is trying to turn a personal tragedy into a public tribute. She wants the pond where her son drowned to be turned into a splash pad, where other children can safely enjoy playing in the the water.

Stephanie Puckett’s son, David, drowned in the pond at Olympic Park on New Year’s Eve.

Law enforcement personnel and volunteers from the community scoured her neighborhood and the surrounding area for days before firefighters found the 6-year-old boy's body under the ice of a partially frozen pond, just around the corner from his home.

The discovery devastated people throughout the community -- from family members to community members and law enforcement personnel who helped search for the young boy.

Now, Puckett wants to do whatever she can to make sure no other family has to go through the same experience.

"We pass that pond every day," Puckett said.

For her family, it is a painful reminder of her son’s tragic drowning on Dec. 31.

"Our family, police members, communities pulled together and searched nonstop until Jan. 3, 2017 when our world was shattered," Puckett said.

She is asking the Aurora City Council to help avert another tragedy. She points out there are two elementary schools nearby.

"Seeing other children playing in that pond ... it is absolutely terrifying to us. Our family knows the pain and heartache. We do not want another family to go through that," Puckett said.

She asks the council to turn the pond into a splash pad -- like ones in Boulder and Union Station.

The cost could be as high as $500,000. But at least one council member thinks it's worth it.

"This truly is a nice opportunity, for just a really awful accident, that we can turn into a positive," councilwoman Barbara Cleland said.

"This is just something our family is very passionate about," Puckett said.

Cleland will request the money in May. In the meantime, Puckett and her family say they will start fundraising.

Their hope is to have the splash pad in place by next year.