Drowning Accidental, Police Conclude

BCI Capt. Scott Heggelke briefs reporters this afternoon on the drowning of a 3-year-old boy near Goodyear Lake. (Ian Austin/

By PARKER FISH • Special to

Andrew Durkin, 3, was found in water 17 feet from a Susquehanna River embankment.

GOODYEAR LAKE – Three-year-old Andrew James Durkin was dressed in the same outfit as his identical brother when he went missing at his family’s seasonal house on the Susquehanna River just north of Goodyear Lake.

By the time the family realized that one of the twins was nowhere to be found, it was too late.

According to a briefing this afternoon by state police Capt. Scott Heggelke, Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), a 911 call came in to Troop C headquarters in Sidney at 2:54 p.m. regarding a missing child on Bob Wilson Road, Milford Center.

Troopers, sheriff’s deputies and Milford fire and EMS crews responded, and K9 units were brought to the scene.

At 4:30 pm, the state police Underwater Recovery Team located the boy in the water 17 feet from the family’s dock. Resuscitation efforts were made on scene and Durkin was transported to Fox Hospital in Oneonta, where he was later pronounced dead.

“It’s always a horribly tragic situation when you have to deal with the death of a young child,” said Heggelke.

While there is a steep embankment leading up to the river, state police do not believe the boy fell down the embankment, citing the location where Andrew was found as evidence disproving the theory.

Heggelke closed the press conference saying that the investigation is still ongoing, but it is believed to simply be a freshwater drowning accident.



  1. Janice Lien

    “family’s seasonal house. . . . time the family realized” “Susquehanna River”
    “family’s dock” these are the quotes that jump off the newsprint. The quote “simply a freshwater drowning” would aptly be described as “unattended”. This happens very frequently across the country – fresh water, salt water, hotel pool water, bathtub water, etc. It is always horrible, tragic, and angel descriptions abound. That it is needless, all-too-commonplace, and seems to generate no learning curve is not generally the reaction of those interviewed. Only by due diligent study of the matter could one determine if the drowning numbers are exceeded by three-year-olds being killed by passenger vehicles cars – either as pedestrians or passengers. I will find out what the numbers are every year, but it does not seem to decrease.

    For those of you who know me, be assured that my prayers go out to this family. I also fervently pray that at least some people will get ticked off at me enough to remember to take all necessary precautions to prevent similar tragedies in their own personal spheres of life. I’m not posting this to be popular.

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