New London Community Mourns Drowning

By Ilana Gold
|  Friday, Jul 5, 2013  |  Updated 7:06 PM EDT
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New London Community Mourns Drowning

Anthony Bernoudy's body was found near the water's edge on the Fourth of July.

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The New London community is grieving after a six-year old boy drowned Thursday night.

Dive teams pulled the body of Anthony Bernoudy from the water at Green Harbor Beach around 11:30 p.m. He had been missing for more than five hours.

Investigators shut down the New London on Friday and inspected the water to look for problems. They couldn’t find any and said the water was safe.

“I don't even know what I should feel,” said Brian Lavoie, a friend of Bernoudy's mother.

Lavoie was one of dozens who watched dive teams pull the little boy from the Long Island Sound.

“He was everything to her,” Lavoie explained.

The boy had been celebrating the Fourth of July with his family. As they packed up to leave, someone noticed he was gone. Lavoie wondered how the six-year-old even ended up in the water.

"He's clingy; he likes to be around his mom. He doesn't wander off,” Lavoie said.

A makeshift memorial was set up outside the beach.

“We came to hang a teddy bear for our friend Anthony,” said Julie Cleary, whose children were friends with Bernoudy.

She said the boy was especially happy to play sports, and had just handed out his baseball picture the other day.

“He was fun, friendly and he hugged a lot and he played baseball,” Cleary said.

The drowning devastated the community. Bernoudy’s family is well known and respected in New London, residents said.

“It hurts a lot, and we miss him,” said Cleary.

A vigil was scheduled for Friday night.

The Green Harbor Beach area will reopen on Saturday.

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