Mother charged with murder after 3-year-old drowns in pool

First responders: 3-year-old's drowning death appeared suspicious

BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. — The Bartow County Sheriff's Office has arrested a Cartersville mother and charged her with murder in the Memorial Day drowning death of her 3-year-old son.

Emergency crews were called out to a home on Canter Lane in Cartersville just after 1:30 p.m. Monday, where the child was found unresponsive in a pool.

The child was pronounced dead after several life-saving attempts.

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“Most of us are parents and (when) we respond to something like this, of course, it affects you, because everyone loves children,” Sgt. Jonathan Rogers said. “Children rely on us for safety, security and comfort.”

A few hours later, investigators arrested the child’s mother, 32-year-old Bobbie Jessica Prather, and charged her with felony murder and four counts of cruelty to children.

“They called and said a little boy drowned,” neighbor Roberta Zachery said.

Zachery lives two doors down from the trailer home on Canter Lane.

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“I saw the cops come by and flashing their flights, I was wondering what was going on,” Zachery said.

The woman’s three other children were taken into protective custody. Prather remains in the Bartow County Jail.

"Based on our investigation, we did place the mother under arrest later for murder and four counts of cruelty to children in the first degree," Rogers said.

When Channel 2's Chris Jose knocked on the door, nobody answered at first, but a man came out and told us to leave. He would only say "he's helping out."

“You just got to watch your kids every minute. Don't let them out of your sight,” Rogers said. “That's all I can say.”

Authorities haven’t explained why Prather is charged with murder. We will continue to work to find that out.