Family Mourns Girl Who Drowned in Naugatuck

A family is mourning and grief counselors will be at City Hill Middle School in Naugatuck on Tuesday to provide support for students and teachers after the death of a 12-year-old girl who was pulled from the Naugatuck River on Monday evening.

Rescuers spent nearly two hours searching for Jada Ivory, of Naugatuck, on Monday. She was perched on a rock with some friends at Linden Park when she lost her balance and slipped into the water around 4:30 p.m. on Monday, officials said.

Friends watched as she was swept away by the current and tried to save her.

Karen Smith said she Jada to stay away from the water when the preteen said she wanted to go to the park.

"I was in the kitchen washing dishes when the little girl came in and said Jada is drowning," Smith said. So I just ran.  I just ran."

A spokesperson for the Naugatuck Police Department said Jada was unresponsive when she was loaded into an ambulance around 6 p.m. She was pronounced dead at Waterbury Hospital.

No adults were with the children, according to police, and rescuers pulled Jada from the water about a half mile from where she fell in.

Jada was a bright seventh-grade student at City Hill Middle School whi liked to hang out with her friends, go to the movies and go skating, her mother, Cassandra Houston, said.

"She was a bright kid," Houston said. "It's not fair."

Police are issuing a warning to parents to ensure that children are supervised while on or near water.

"Whenever there's kids and water, it's a dangerous combination," explained Naugatuck police spokesman Lt. Bryan Cammarata. "We always want to make sure there's someone there, that they're supervised."

There information has been released on funeral arrangements.

Jada's family is accepting donations from anyone who would like to help out with her funeral. To contribute, send an email to

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