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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

personalized baby blanket: Baby drowns in Nova Scotia


SYDNEY MINES, N.S. -- A grief-stricken father tugged on the ends of a personalized baby blanket slung over his shoulders yesterday as family and friends gathered at his home to mourn the drowning of 21-month-old Emma Bennett.

"It's her blanket. She's my angel," said Charlie Bennett. "She was the happiest child we ever came across."

Police responded to a 911 call in Sydney Mines around 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

The toddler was found in a small blow-up pool set up in the family's backyard.

"She loved to sing and play," said her father. "She loved to play on the swing. I think her spirit is really flying today on that swing."

Police are warning the public to be diligent in and around pools at all times.

"It can happen so quickly," said Const. Hank Lamond of the Cape Breton Regional Police.

The Bennett family was enjoying the warm weather Sunday evening in a backyard loaded with all the ingredients for a young family's idea of summer fun. They have a large screened-in gazebo, a pile of children's toys, basketball nets and the small pool.

The parents were inside only a few moments when they realized young Emma was no longer in tow. A swift search ended when they found her small body in the pool.

"The only thing that will get us through this is our faith in Jesus Christ," Bennett said.

Emma was the youngest of six children and daughter of Charlie and Michelle Bennett. Police said the death is not suspicious and no charges will be laid.