A 1-1/2 year-old boy is in critical condition at Medical University of South Carolina, after he was pulled out of a pond Thursday morning. According to witnesses, Elijah Jimenez was first taken to Conway Medical Center and later transferred to MUSC.
James Plymale was among those who searched for the boy, after the toddler went missing from his home. Plymale was getting ready to go to work around 8 a.m. Thursday, when his neighbor approached him, asking him to help her find her grandson.
"She was walking down this way, I guess she was going to the pond to see," Plymale said.
Plymale began looking around the pond behind the row of mobile homes on Daniel Rd., in the R & R Mobile Home park in the Socastee area.
"I found him. Didn't want to find him that way, but I found him," said Plymale.
The boy was found floating in water behind an unoccupied mobile home. Plymale said he tried to do CPR on the child, but the boy was unresponsive. An ambulance arrived minutes later, Plymale said.
Neighbors said they've long worried about the safety of the pond.
"It's very dangerous. There's two gators in there and you just see what happened to the little boy. It's very dangerous. There needs to be something done about it, absolutely,"said Shelly Marshall, who lives on Daniel Rd.
Marshall said she has heard it would be expensive for the mobile home park's owner to build a fence around the pond, but she and her neighbors will push for one anyway.
"We have eight to ten kids, just in this corner alone back here. But we don't let none of our kids play over there," Marshall said.
Though the child remains in critical condition, Plymale said he had heard from the boy's grandmother that the toddler was breathing on his own and showed some eye movement in the intensive care unit at MUSC.