Girl, two, who slipped away from family barbecue found dead in New York lake

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 July, 2014, 9:38pm
UPDATED : Monday, 07 July, 2014, 9:38pm


A two-year-old girl who wandered away from a holiday weekend family barbecue in a New York park was found dead in a lake after a desperate five-hour search by police and bystanders.

New York Police Department divers pulled Ruhshona Kurbonova's body from the murky water in Prospect Park on Saturday evening.

The cause of death wasn't immediately available.

Ruhshona's family, who emigrated from Uzbekistan, had been grilling kebabs when she and a preschool-age male relative slipped away, her uncle Dekzod Isokov told the New York Post.

"They walked off, and we didn't know," he said. The boy was later found soaked, but safe, in bushes near the lake.

Officers combed the 237-hectare park from bicycles and helicopters as park goers lent what help they could.

"My whole church family was looking for this baby, and we were praying out here," said Shavonne Dillard, who was picnicking with members of her Pentecostal congregation.

Witnesses said Ruhshona's mother screamed and collapsed after hearing the news of her daughter's death.

She was taken to hospital for evaluation and was later released.

The family immigrated to the US in 2010, the girl's uncle said. Her father drives a taxi.

The parents were hardworking and devoted to their four children, Zada Bacoj, the superintendent of their Brooklyn apartment building, told the Daily News.

Ruhshona was "a little angel," Bacoj said. "What bigger heartbreak than this?"