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8-year-old girl who drowned is remembered as the best hug giver

Posted at 9:10 PM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 21:15:21-04

KENOSHA, Wis. — A family fun day at the beach turned tragic for one family in the town of Randall Tuesday evening when a young child drowned and died.

Family identify 8-year-old J'Lynn Sparks as that young child.

The Sparks family tells TMJ4's Ubah Ali that J'lynn had a spunky personality and gave incredible hugs. They say at just 8 years old she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up: a fashion designer in New York City.

Mary Schuerman has been coming to the lake for nearly three decades. She now brings her grandkids, who are around the same age as J'Lynn.

"It just makes me sad," Schuerman said. "It's hard on your heart."

J'Lynn Sparks
J'Lynn Sparks and friends.
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This is 8-year-old J’Lynn Sparks the young girl who drowned in Powers Lake yesterday.

Schuerman was also at the beach Tuesday afternoon and said it was packed.

According to the Kenosha County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to Lakeside Park near Twin Lakes for a report of a girl drowning around 6 p.m.

When deputies arrived, officials with the Walworth County Sheriff's Office were already on the scene performing CPR on the girl.

Officials said the girl had been swimming in a roped-off swim area without a flotation device. She was found unresponsive by another swimmer in the area.

Powers Lake has swim-at-your-own-risk beaches. The chairperson for the town of Randall said it has been like that for 15 years.

Signs show visitors there are no lifeguards on duty, but some say that needs to change.

"It's very important for every public access to water to have lifeguards as well as rescue equipment," said Dave Benjamin, co-founder of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.

Benjamin tracks drownings on the Great Lakes, and teaches water safety.

"We just don't want someone's family fun day at the beach or the pool to turn into tragedy," Benjamin stated.

This is the third drowning in Kenosha County in a little over a month, and the second child in a week.

Officials with the town of Randall say they will be reviewing what safety measures need to be put in place to prevent future drownings as soon as they can.

Families that may need assistance in dealing with this tragedy are encouraged to contact the Mental Health Resource Center at 262-764-8555.

Authorities ask anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department Detective Bureau at (262) 605-5102.

A GoFundMe has been created to help the family with funeral expenses. To donate, click here.

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