Friends remember 4-year-old boy who drowned in apartment pool

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SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — San Marcos police are investigating why a 4-year-old boy drowned in an apartment pool Saturday.

Investigators say two women brought their children with them while they were cleaning at the Outpost apartment complex on Post Road, near Spring Road, in northeast San Marcos. According to police, the children, ages 4 to 18, were playing in the complex’s pool.

One of the children noticed Dixon Ramirez Valez, 4, was along the edge of the pool and seemed to be sleeping. The 18-year-old pulled Valez out of the pool and performed CPR with the help of a staff member. Paramedics took Valez to Central Texas Medical Center in San Marcos where he was pronounced dead.

The boy along with his older brother and mother recently got back on their feet after spending the past two years in a shelter meant to help families escape domestic and cultural violence.

“She was going to be homeless, so she came to stay at Posada Esperanza with her two vibrant, beautiful children,” said Posada Esperanza Program Director Patti McCabe. She says Dixon was only two years old when she met him, a moment she says she’ll never forget. “All little boys are cute and adorable and full of life and sweet and little Dixon was that even more.”

The family quickly became the life of Posada Esperanza. McCabe says until the day they moved out Dixon’s mother acted as a role model to the others living in the shelter.

“Dixon’s favorite thing to do was to get so excited when someone would come to the door and run to the door and say hello and give them this big grin. And, if the person was friendly, he would climb up on their lap. His mom’s a very quiet, serious woman and very focused on loving her children, providing for her children, and working so hard,” said McCabe.

McCabe and investigators say that’s exactly what Dixon’s mother was doing on Saturday when her son was found unresponsive in the apartment pool.

“That day has been unspeakably horrible. The pain that his mom is going through is indescribable,” said McCabe.

McCabe says the entire Posada Esperanza family has gathered around Dixon’s family.

“She lost her baby, she says ‘I’m empty, I’m broken.’ She is, she is empty and she is broken. She lost her baby that she loved so much, and he loved her so much,” McCabe said.

The love for Dixon is quite clear. Thousands of dollars have already been raised for the family on the crowdfunding website, YouCaring. With many shedding words of hope and encouragement for the family to continue pushing even after everything they have been through.

Police are continuing to investigate, they say with any case there is a chance criminal charges could be filed. CPS is also conducting their own investigation. They will look to determine if neglect or abuse played a role. For now, Dixon’s older brother remains with his family.

Hays County Justice of the Peace Judge Jo Anne Prado has ordered an autopsy for Valez.

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