Father Dies Trying to Rescue His Toddler From Minnesota Lake

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
June 17, 2019US News
Father Dies Trying to Rescue His Toddler From Minnesota Lake
File photo of an ambulance and a police officer. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

DETROIT LAKES, Minn.—Authorities say a father died while trying to save his 3-year-old child who fell from a bridge into a northwestern Minnesota lake.

The Becker County sheriff’s office says Christopher Franklin Nicholas Schultz jumped into Detroit Lake after his child fell from the bridge at Dead Shot Bay on June 15 evening.

The sheriff’s office says in a news release that the 32-year-old father struggled to keep his child above water. Bystanders were able to help bring the toddler to shore, but Schultz, of nearby Frazee, Minnesota, didn’t resurface.

The Becker County Diver Team and a fisherman found the father around 9 p.m. He died at a hospital in the city of Detroit Lakes, about 45 miles east of Fargo, North Dakota.

The child was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to recover.

A resident of Detroit Lakes said that Schultz ventured into dangerous waters and did everything he could to save his child.

“It is deep, there is a current, but it’s fairly close to where you can touch,” Wickum told Fox 4 News. “Five strokes to where you can probably hit bottom.”

“He made the ultimate sacrifice for his son, and I hope his son grows up to be a worthy recipient of that because you can’t think of any greater sacrifice. So, that’s a sad, sad, story,” he said.

Toddler Found Drunk Became Intoxicated at Daycare

A toddler found drunk at a Maryland hospital became intoxicated at a daycare center run out of the operator’s home, police said in documents outlining criminal charges against the woman.

Frederick County Detective Michael Toste met with the toddler’s parents at the hospital on April 10, 2018. The child’s mother said she picked him up from the daycare and took him to the hospital, where a doctor smelled alcohol on the toddler’s breath.

Testing revealed that boy had a blood alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit for an adult to drive in the state.

After a monthslong investigation, an arrest warrant was issued for Doris Marie Ott, 50, the daycare operator. Her license was suspended and eventually revoked after the toddler was found drunk but she has now been charged with neglect of a minor and reckless endangerment.

Ott had run the daycare for 18 years before the incident.

According to charging documents obtained by Fox 5, the boy was at the daycare when he fell out of his chair, wouldn’t wake up, and was “pale and limp.” Ott called the boy’s mother, who rushed him to the hospital. She said she smelled the alcohol but thought it was hand sanitizer or baby wipes.

Ott said there was no alcohol that the toddler could have accessed at her house and that she was not drinking.

Detectives found several alcoholic beverages in a refrigerator in the basement adjacent to the daycare portion of the house but Ott said the child couldn’t have accessed the fridge and drunk the alcohol without leaving any evidence behind.

Toste, the detective, said that Ott could not provide an explanation as to what led to the boy’s intoxication.

“She said that she was the sole person alone with the children at the daycare that day,” Toste told the Frederick News-Post. “So as far as what happened, that would be up to her to tell us, and she hasn’t done so yet. … You always hope that you get from them a when, what, why and how, but it doesn’t always work out that way.”

Ott declined to comment but her attorney Michelle Martz said in a statement to Fox: “Mrs. Ott ran a successful daycare facility in the Walkersville community for 18 years. She provided a safe environment in her own home, caring deeply for every child entrusted to her care. She has a whole community that stands with her.”

“Mrs. Ott is completely innocent and has been cooperative from the start. Charging Mrs. Ott was wrong. We look forward to attacking this in court,” Martz added.

Martz added to the News-Post that Ott has no intention of running a daycare again.

She also said that Ott’s withdrawal of an appeal regarding the license revocation shouldn’t be “construed in any way as an admission or acknowledgment of any wrongdoing.”

Ott’s arrest warrant was served on Dec. 29, and she was released after signing a written promise to appear in court.

According to the charging documents, the boy, who has not been named or described at all, such as by age, is in good health. The child’s parents declined to comment publicly.

The Associated Press and NTD reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.