Mother, two children drown in pond

Sunday, July 28, 2002

HUNTSVILLE, Mo. -- A woman and her daughter drowned Friday after they went into a farm pond to try and save the woman's son. The boy also drowned.

None of the three victims could swim, said Randolph County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Nichols.

Nichols said when the boy, Thaddeus Christner, 8, went into the farm pond, his 10-year-old sister, Phebe, jumped in to try and help him.

The children's mother, Virginia Christner, heard her 5-year-old daughter screaming near the pond and ran into the pond to help. The drownings occurred in a pond just east of Huntsville in Randolph County, which is just north of Columbia.

The children were found in 5 feet of water and the mother was located in 8 feet, Nichols said.

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