Baldwin A 4-year-old rural Baldwin boy drowned Tuesday evening in a farm pond about two miles west of Baldwin, and the boy's father remained hospitalized today with heart problems he suffered after finding his son lying unconscious in the water.
Robert Melvin Freeman Jr., 4, Rt. 3, Baldwin, was pronounced dead at 5:29 p.m. Tuesday, the time he arrived at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in a Douglas County ambulance.
Douglas County sheriff's officers today reported that the boy, who was called Melvin, and his father, Robert M. Freeman Sr., were at a friend's house helping him mow brome hay when the accident occurred.
Sheriff's Lt. Don Crowe said that while the elder Freeman was mowing at about 5 p.m., the boy ran off to play. About 10 minutes later, Crowe said, the father shouted for Melvin. When there was no reply, the father began searching for the boy.
A few minutes later, Crowe said, Freeman found his son in the pond.
Crowe said the father pulled the boy out of the pond and drove him to Baldwin, where he stopped at the Baldwin power plant and called authorities.
The field where the accident happened is located about a quarter-mile north of the intersection of Douglas County Roads 1400E and 200N.
Crowe said that after calling authorities, the father began having some type of heart problems. Crowe said the man has a history of heart ailments.
The elder Freeman was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, then was transported by Life Flight helicopter about 9:30 p.m. to Humana Hospital in Overland Park. A spokesman for Humana Hospital said the father was listed in satisfactory condition this morning.
Services for Melvin Freeman are pending at Warren-McElwain Mortuary.
He was born June 2, 1986, in Kansas City, Kan. Survivors include his parents, Robert M. Freeman Sr. and Nancy Tarwater Freeman, of the home; a sister, Aimee Freeman, Eudora; two half-brothers, Robert E. Freeman, DeSoto, and Brandon S. Freeman, Denver; maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Dale Hunter, Eudora; and paternal grandmother, Oma Price, Altus, Ark.