Reporting Andrea Menniti
PINE GROVE (CBS13) – A mother and her young daughter found at the bottom of an icy pond in Amador County Thursday.
Investigators are calling it a horrible tragedy as neighbors mourn an unimaginable loss.
“It’s sad to know a little girl got stuck,” said neighbor Belinda Massaro.
The close-knit community is still trying to come to grips with this tragedy that happened in a neighborhood off Highway 88 east of Pine Grove.
The tragedy is hitting the community hard. Neoghbors dropped off flowers and teddy bears to honor the mother and daughter.
The 8-foot-deep pond is where Karen Anderson and her 5-year-old daughter Amelia lost their lives.
“It’s sad, very sad,” said neighbor Kristina Sigston.
Investigators got a call for help earlier this week. That’s when a neighbor discovered a hole in the frozen pond, not far from the family home.
Because no one saw what happened, investigators say it’s not clear who fell through the ice first. Neighbors suspect little Amelia did, and her mother tried to save the little girl before crashing into the water.
Divers found the pair of bodies next to each other near the bottom of the pond, about 30 feet from the shore. The water was 38 degrees.
“You have to be careful because it’s not way deep, the ice, it’s only like that you can fall through really, really quick,” said Sigston.
Investigators say it is possible that Amelia was helping her mom look for their pet llama that got loose earlier in the day. They don’t suspect foul play, and it appears all signs point to a tragic accident.
“I don’t know if they will ever find out what happened,” said Sigston.
Neighbors say the family recently moved in and was well-liked in the community.
An autopsy showed there was no trauma to the bodies, and the cause of death is drowning.