Toddler drowning in Metro Detroit canal accidental, sheriff says

The grieving mother of a toddler who went missing and was later found to have drowned in a canal behind a Harrison Township home says it's something that could happen to anyone.

"We are suffering the worst loss. That was my daughter," said Alexis Lawson.

She can't believe her 19-month old daughter, Chloe, is gone.

"We pulled her right out back yard. We looked everywhere," Lawson said.

A family gathering turned tragic after Chloe's lifeless body was found in a canal behind their home. The family was barbecuing when they noticed the girl was not in the house with the other small children.

They started to search for her and found her in the canal directly behind the family home.

The child's mom says it's an accident that could happen to anyone.

"Anyone who wants to say anything about watching my children or anyone else's. We did and we do, and things aren't always in our control and I don't know how I'm going to live on," she said.

But the grieving mom says she must go on for her younger child.

Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham says he wants this tragedy to serve as a reminder about safety around swimming pools, lakes and canals.

"You have to respect the water. Young children, if they are going to be out and there's water there, put a life jacket on them. In case, in these situations, if they do fall in, they are going to stay above water," he said.

The sheriff says his team is still investigating and it's too early to say if there will be charges.

"Right now everything is leaning towards just a tragic accident, but the investigators, we're going to put that final determination on later," he said.