Dayton family remembers teen drowning victim

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio(WDTN)- Chance Mills was remembered as youthful and joyful at a vigil held for him Saturday afternoon. The 18-year-old drowned in a pond at Lakeside Park Thursday night.

Officials began using sonar technology to continue their search once the sun went down Thursday. Crews searched for several hours before suspending operations. Authorities returned to Lakeside Park and continued the search around 10 a.m. before finding the teen’s body around 11:15 a.m. 

Mills mother, Laura Coleman, told 2 News that while he was 18-years-old, he had behavioral disorders causing him to be more at the mental age of an eight year old. 

The loss has been difficult for Mills’ parents. Both said they had a hard time believing it was their son rescue crews were looking for Thursday night. 

“I saw him that morning, he told me he loved me. I get home, sit down and chill. Then, kids are knocking at the door telling me my son drowned,” said Chris Lacy, Mills’ father. “He was a funny guy. He loved to play jokes. We thought he was just playing.”

“I miss the way he laughed, his jokes. I’m not going to be able to see him come back through that door ever again,” Coleman said.

Chance’s mother says the 18-year-old didn’t know how to swim. She still doesn’t know why he jumped into the pond. 

“I can’t blame anybody. I can’t even blame him. I just think it was a hot day, a nice day and he was out there playing with his friends,” Coleman said.

Now, she is calling for the city to better secure Lakeside Park’s pond and for parents to hold their children close. 

“Watch your kids, know where they’re at and keep them away from that pond,” she said. 

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