NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH)-- A New London beach is closed Friday after a parent's worst nightmare becomes a reality. Police say the body of 6-year-old boy was pulled from the water at Green Harbor Beach in New London.
A day after 6-year-old Anthony Bernoudy drowns at a New London beach, some still cannot believe it is true.
"Feels like a dream like you never expect anything like that to happen, especially since I seen him an hour before I left and he was fine. He plays with my daughter all the time. His birthday was next week," said Justin Price.
Justin Price lives downstairs from Anthony's family. He says at 5:30 Thursday night his mother knocked on his door frantically looking for her son. News 8 spoke to her shortly after that.
"He's smart, he's intelligent, he's athletic, he's sweet," said Tamyra Bernoudy, Anthony's mother.
A description echoed by all who knew the young boy. Anthony was about to turn seven next week and was supposed to go into the first grade in the fall.
"He's an angel. He's a perfect kid, he's respectable, well behaved, he listens to his parents, he really is a good kid. It's horrible. It's not even words to describe it," said Price.
On Friday several detectives looked over the Greens Harbor beach which remained closed while lifeguards crisscrossed the swimming area searching for any obstructions in the water.
Later they made sure no one crossed the caution tape and watched as a memorial began to grow. Folks wanting to remember Anthony and wanting his family to know the community cares.
"It's tragic to lose anybody but to lose a child it's so much harder. Even though I didn't know this boy I love children and I try to do a lot of things for children. People you need to come out and put something up for this family and for this child," said Tiger Maynard-White, New London.
Officials say Greens Harbor Beach will be open Saturday and all scheduled activities will be held as planned.
And on Friday night, a vigil is being held for 6-year-old Anthony Bernoudy. It's being held at 8 PM at Greens Harbor Beach.
NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) -- An investigation is underway and a grief counselor is on call, after a 6-year-old drowned in New London Thursday.
Greens Harbor Beach in New London remains closed today following Thursday night's tragedy, but will be back open Saturday, the mayor's office said.
For five hours, search crews and dive teams looked on land and on the water for 6-year-old Anthony Bernoudy. He arrived at the beach with his grandmother around 5:30. By 6, he had disappeared. Police put out a Silver Alert in case he had wandered away. During the search, his mother spoke to News 8 in the hopes someone would find Anthony.
"I have no words to describe my son. He is smart. He's intelligent, he's athletic, he's sweet," said mom Tamyra Bernoudy. "I just want him back home." She spoke with News 8 after the Silver Alert was issued and before the boy's body was found
Just after 11 o'clock one of the divers spotted Anthony under the water. They rushed him to the hospital, but it was too late.
"My heart is broken. He's my only child. He's the only one I have," his mother said.
Now the question is what happened to Anthony? City officials ordered the beach closed while they looked into whether there was anything unsafe there.
Lifeguards crisscrossed the swimming area to make sure they could see all the way to the bottom, while detectives looked on, and someone tied a teddy bear to the fence as a memorial to the young life lost.
Anthony would have turned 7 next Wednesday. Now, instead of planning his birthday party, they are planning his funeral.
Anthony was a student at Jennings Elementary School. Grief counselors were available at the school earlier Friday for anyone who wanted to talk about what happened.
In announcing the beach reopening, Zak Leavy of the New London mayor's office said "all residents are advised to always exercise safety when undertaking activities in the water as safety is not always guaranteed."
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