Community Center Director on Paid Leave After Boy's Drowning | NECN
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Community Center Director on Paid Leave After Boy's Drowning

Kyzr Willis was last seen around 2 p.m. Tuesday near the L Street Bathhouse at Carson Beach in the city's South Boston neighborhood

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Wednesday, July 27, 2016)

    The mother of a 7-year-old boy who drowned after wandering away unnoticed from a city-run summer camp at a Boston beach on Tuesday is speaking publicly for the first time about her son's death, and the community center's director is on paid leave as the city conducts a review into drop-in centers.

    "He was happy, he was lovable. Everybody knew who he was," Missy Willis, the mother of Kyzr Willis, told necn Wednesday in an interview in the area of her home. "At the end of the day, you could have took my life. You could have took mine. He only experienced seven years. I had 32. I did mine. I did what I had to do. You could have took mine."

    Kyzr was last seen around 2 p.m. Tuesday near the L Street Bathhouse at Carson Beach in the city's South Boston neighborhood. He was attending a day camp at the Curley Community Center, which includes the bathhouse, police said. 

    "Right away we deployed officers from around the city looking for the young child," Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said. "We checked the water, we checked the shoreline, we were out in neighborhoods, we checked the area around his home in Dorchester. We searched the best we could." 

    Mother of 7-Year-Old Drowning Victim: 'He Was Lovable'

    [NECN] Mother of Boy Who Drowned at Summer Camp: 'He Was Lovable'
    Missy Willis is mourning the death of her 7-year-old son, Kyzr, who drowned after walking away from a city-run summer camp in Boston. (Published Wednesday, July 27, 2016)

    Police found the boy's body around 7 p.m. Family and friends who had rushed to Carson Beach when they heard that the child was missing broke down in tears. 

    Police are still trying to determine how the boy slipped away from the camp, which is run by the Boston Centers for Youth and Families. 

    "We'll conduct a thorough investigation, but right now, let's all pray for the family," Evans said. "They're going through something that I don't think anyone here wants to go through."

    Walsh stopped by the Curley Community Center on Wednesday morning upon returning to Boston from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

    Camp Official On Leave After Boy Drowns

    [NECN] Camp Official On Leave After Boy Drowns
    Mayor Marty Walsh addressed the public one day after the drowning death of Kyzr Willis, a 7-year-old boy who had wandered away from a city-run summer camp. (Published Wednesday, July 27, 2016)

    He spoke with members of the media and said, "my heart goes out to the family, it breaks for the family."

    The city's so-called "drop-in centers," such as the one Kyzr was at, will be reviewed, Walsh announced Wednesday afternoon after the Curley Community Center's director was placed on paid leave. Dan Monahan, who the mayor's office says has worked with children for 25 years, will step in as acting director Thursday.

    Will Morales, commissioner of Boston Centers for Youth & Families, released a statement on Wednesday saying "The entire BCYF community is absolutely heartbroken on the loss of Kyzr Willis and our deepest sympathies go out to this young boy's family. BCYF will work closely with the Boston Police Department throughout the investigation." 

    Quincy Police, state police and the U.S. Coast Guard all assisted in Tuesday's search. 

    Questions Abound After Boy Drowns in Boston

    [NECN] Questions Abound After Boy Drowns in Boston
    Kyzr Willis, a 7-year-old boy, drowned after wandering away unnoticed from a city-run summer camp at a Boston beach Tuesday. (Published Wednesday, July 27, 2016)

    The L Street Bathhouse will remain closed until further notice as police continue to investigate. Walsh said it could reopen as early as Thursday.

    Carson Beach is a public beach located in the area of 1663 Columbia Ave. and maintained by the state.


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