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‘They Had No Business Being There’: Devastated Mother Speaks Out After 9-Year-Old Daughter Dies At Staten Island Reservoir


By Dave Carlin

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    NEW YORK, New York (WCBS) — A 9-year-old girl died Tuesday after being pulled from a Staten Island reservoir.

CBS2’s Dave Carlin spoke with the girl’s devastated mother, Samara Mitchell.

“She was on a little vacation, enjoying some friends she ain’t seen in a year and a half,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell’s daughter Kyemani died Tuesday afternoon in Staten Island’s Silver Lake Reservoir. A longtime family friend brought the group of kids there.

“I was not there,” Mitchell. said.

“If you had been there?” Carlin asked.

“My daughter wouldn’t have drowned,” Mitchell said.

The kids jumped the three-foot fence surrounding the water. Kyemani got in too deep and her sister, who is only 10 years old, tried to pull her out.

“Her sister was in the water grabbing her, saying, ‘Help me.’ She said she slipped. She had her arm. When she took her arm off, Kyemani just drifted off. She said she just looked under the water. She didn’t see her sister, so she just got out of the water. She said everybody screaming at me, ‘Kyemora, get your sister. Kyemora, get your sister,’” Mitchell said.

Kyemani’s mother says her little girl had no experience with bodies of water, not even a swimming pool, let alone a place like the reservoir.

“Kyemani was happy playing in the sprinkler, with water balloons,” Mitchell said. “It was her first time it’s ever going somewhere, 9 years of her life.”

There was no answer when CBS2 went to the Staten Island home of the 31-year-old woman who took the children to the reservoir. She was questioned by police but not charged with any crime.

“She had eight kids somewhere they had no business being there,” Mitchell said. “Right now, I’m just gonna lay my precious jewel to rest.”

“How do you want her remembered?” Carlin asked.

“Dancing, asking me for favorite cereals. Just being Kyemani, hugging everybody. I miss my baby,” Mitchell said.

Kyemani had been excited about moving up to the fourth grade at PS 306, less than a mile from her home in East New York, Brooklyn.

Family members say some staffers at the school are setting up a GoFundMe page to help them.

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