Mother, 6-year-old girl drown in Prince William County lake - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Mother, 6-year-old girl drown in Prince William County lake

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Police in Prince William County have now released the names of the mother and daughter who drowned Thursday night in Lake Montclair.

They are 40-year-old Grace Darlene Shields and her 6-year-old daughter Raina Shields, both of Royal Crescent Court.

Montclair is a Prince William County community of more than 5,000 homes. Some of them are waterfront properties on man-made Lake Montclair, which is used for fishing, boating and swimming, especially during the warmer months.

The home where this tragedy happened is in a Montclair neighborhood called "The Island," and that home did have a waterfront dock, as many here do. A mother and two daughters had moved in just a couple of months ago, according to two neighbors.

Around 8:30 p.m., neighbors noticed the older daughter, who is nine and who is developmentally disabled, was outdoors alone and in apparent distress. Kristina Tkac's parents organized a neighborhood search for the missing mother and younger daughter.

"I know they searched around the neighborhood, [and] called around the neighborhood," said Tkac. "They went in the house [and] they searched. I know they called somebody on the mother's cell phone. They found the cell phone in the purse in the house, and that's why they knew she wasn't gone [from the area]."

The neighborhood search was unsuccessful. Prince William County Police were called. They canvassed the neighborhood and Fairfax Police sent their helicopter for a night-time aerial search. Still no success.

A police SCUBA team went into Lake Montclair around dawn.

"They found the mother and the daughter -- the 6-year-old -- hugging each other right by the dock, their dock, in the water. And they were both dead," explained Tkac.

Neighbors and police say the father in the family is an American service member currently posted in Korea.

For the time being, the surviving daughter is in the care of Child Protective Services.

Police continue to investigate the deaths, but because of the surviving daughter's inability to communicate, it may never be known precisely what mishap led to the drownings of the 40-year-old mother and the 6-year-old daughter.


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