New drowning documents reveal head injuries, questionable child count

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — More disturbing revelations are coming to light with the release of documents about last July’s drowning at a St. Louis County summer camp.

Hundreds of pages of newly obtained documents show not only a previously unreported injury suffered by TJ Mister, but also a list of children so large that St. Louis County couldn’t even keep an accurate count.

Mister drowned in the Kennedy Recreation Center pool on July 20.

Recent documents show that Camp Kennedy had enrolled 50 children, with about seven other children from the books.

According to the documents, five staffers at the St. Louis County center reportedly brought up to seven additional children with them, with one staffer writing, “As far as I know, enrollment records are not always made as the staffer is usually present.”

Because there may have been more than 50 children in the pool that day, a written report from an employee states, “…one lifeguard on the stand, four camp attendants in the water, and (and) another camp attendant on the pool deck with a maintenance worker.”

The report added, “[The]recreation supervisor ran to get food and came back just as Camp Kennedy hit the water.”

According to the report, TJ began fighting almost immediately after jumping into the water over his head.

The documents also include an incident report of a previous head injury. The report states that TJ hit his head while skating earlier in the day and that he was not wearing a helmet at the time, although he had one.

Doug Forbes obtained the documents in a Missouri Sunshine Law request. His 6-year-old daughter, Roxie, died at a summer camp in California. Since then he has been on a mission to make a difference.

FOX 2 spoke to him when he visited St. Louis to do some research in October

“We’re not going away. We will persevere,” he said at the time. “We will make sure the public gets the answers they deserve.”

TJ’s parents, Olga and Travone, are suing for $40 million, but what they want more are security measures. We were at the St. Louis County Council meeting in November when they were lobbying for summer camp regulations.

“We have to prevent something like this from happening again,” Olga said with her husband at her side in front of the council.

Missouri does not currently require licensing, inspections, background check requirements, or mandatory staffing. State Representative Michael Burton is drafting legislation to change this, which we may give you an update on soon. New drowning documents reveal head injuries, questionable child count

Sarah Y. Kim

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