Crime

Durham Sheriff's Office: No evidence of foul play in little girl’s death

The home of a 3-year-old girl who was found unresponsive in a creek Monday, April 9, 2018. The home is in the Bahama community on Rougemont Road in northern Durham County.
The home of a 3-year-old girl who was found unresponsive in a creek Monday, April 9, 2018. The home is in the Bahama community on Rougemont Road in northern Durham County. vbridges@heraldsun.com

The Durham County Sheriff's Office says there is no evidence of foul play in the death of a 3-year-old found in a creek behind her home.

Sheriff's Office reports show a missing-person call from the girl's northern Durham County address at 1:33 p.m. April 9 and a command post being set up there at 2:27 pm. The child, Lucy Kramer, was found later that afternoon unresponsive in a body of water behind her home. She died at the hospital April 10.

"Lucy’s warm laughter and infectious curiosity left lasting marks on the lives of all who knew her," states her obituary. "She will forever be in our hearts as the little girl who offered everyone she met her love and kindness. While gone too soon from our lives, Lucy inspires us to live by her example."

Lucy's father, Joseph Kramer, called 911 around 1:30 April 9 and was transferred to a Sheriff’s Office dispatcher.

“I just put her down for a nap less than an hour ago, and I was working in the crawl space and it’s possible she ran in the woods with my dog, but it’s really unlikely,” Kramer said.

The dog, a brown Labrador retriever named Hops, was also missing, he said.

“The dog is outside and he is gone and not coming back,” he said. “That is not like him to wander. “

Kramer said he had searched the house and 10 acres of property off Rougemont Road in Durham. He said there was about 1,000 acres of wooded land next to his property.

According to a Sheriff's Office incident report, Kramer told a deputy after he put Lucy down for a nap that he had also put his twin 1-year-old girls down for nap and then went into the crawlspace under the house.

"He said he was doing work and at some point while he was under there he said it sounded like she was up and talking," the report states. "He said that when he did not hear her talking he assumed she had gone back to sleep."

Kramer said he stayed under the house 20 more minutes, and then came out and started looking for the missing dog, the report states.

When Kramer returned to the house, he saw Lucy’s bedroom open and started looking for the 3-year-old, the report states.

When deputies arrived, four of them formed a line and began to comb the woods, the report states. As they approached the creek, a deputy saw “a figure floating in the swampy water area,” the report states.

“As we got closer, we could see that it was a small body and deputy T. Price jumped in and pulled her out,” the report states.

A deputy performed CPR, and switched out with another deputy when he got tired.

County Emergency Medical Services officials arrived and took over CPR.

“One of the neighbors had an off-road vehicle with a bed, and he drove it through the woods so that EMS could get on the bed of the vehicle and be taken back the ambulance,” the report states.

Lucy was taken to Duke University Hospital, where she died the next day.

Virginia Bridges: 919-829-8924, @virginiabridges
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