Mother of boy who died in Aurora pond asks council to convert area into splash park

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AURORA | The mother of a 6-year-old boy who died after he fell into an icy pond in Aurora last month asked Aurora City Council on Monday to fill in the small body of water at Olympic Park and turn it into a children’s splash pad.

Stephanie Puckett, the mother of 6-year-old David Puckett, told council members she doesn’t want another family to lose a child in the pond where her son perished at the southern tip of the park.

“Since David’s death, we’ve since seen other children playing in that pond and it’s absolutely terrifying to us,” she said. “Our family knows the pain and heartache and we don’t want any other family to go through that.”

Stephanie added that two elementary schools, Yale Elementary School and Century Elementary School, flank the park to the east and west, respectively.

“As our family picks up the pieces and tries to push forward, that’s one thing that we cannot ignore,” she said of the proximity of the schools.

Stephanie Puckett said she’s already spoken with Ward IV Councilman Charlie Richardson and At-large Councilwoman Barb Cleland about working funds for the splash pad project into the 2018 budget.

At the Monday Council Meeting, Mayor Steve Hogan confirmed Cleland has already informed other council members of her intent to propose a 2018 budget amendment for the pond conversion project.

“I know it was not easy to do this, but I appreciate it and we’ll see what we can do,” Cleland told Stephanie at the Monday meeting.

Members of Aurora Fire Rescue’s Technical Rescue Team retrieved the 6-year-old’s body from the icy pond Jan. 3. Aurora Police and community volunteers scoured the neighborhood near Olympic Park, which was where David had last been seen before going missing on New Year’s Eve.