Though many family members were with the 5-year-old at his grandmother's home, he still managed to slip without notice into the green-colored water.
By KEVIN GRAHAM
Published March 22, 2004
TAMPA - More than three hours after a 5-year-old Tampa boy went missing at his grandmother's house Sunday, an officer discovered his body at the bottom of the family's swimming pool.
Marcus Kevon Rucker would have turned 6 next week.
The last time anyone in Marcus' family remembers seeing the boy was about 2 p.m., a police report said. He was playing in the back yard at 1502 E Sewaha St. near the pool, while his grandmother Elva Boyette was grilling, police said. The family searched the entire neighborhood looking for Marcus before alerting a Tampa police officer on patrol in the neighborhood.
It was almost 5:30 p.m. before police Sgt. Pete Brevi began searching the family's pool with a cleaning tool. He felt an object at the bottom of the pool and began bringing it to the surface. When he realized it was Marcus, he jumped into the pool to pull out the boy. Brevi tried performing CPR, but his attempts to revive Marcus failed, as did those of a Tampa Fire Rescue team.
A police report said the family's pool had not been used or recently cleaned, rendering the water "green with zero visibility."
Neighbors along E Sewaha Street hugged each other as they shared news about Marcus' drowning Sunday night. Some kept close watch on Marcus' grandmother's house, keeping away reporters and anyone who wasn't family or close friends.
Marcus lived at 9412 15th St. with his parents and five siblings, police said. When Marcus was last seen, he was with his grandmother, aunt and brothers and sisters, ranging in age from 2 to 15. Neither his mother, Jamie Rene Boyette, nor his father, Erster Rucker, were at home when Marcus disappeared, police said.
"This case illustrates that even though there was a home full of people, a child can quickly slip under the water before you know it," said Tampa police spokesman Capt. Bob Guidara. "Never take your child's safety for granted anytime you're near water, whether you are at the beach, at the pool or even the family's bathtub."