Funeral held for toddler who drowned in a pond

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HOLT, Mo. -- Family and friends will gathered Friday evening for the funeral of 19-month-old Josslyn, found drowned in a pond on her family's property in Holt. Clay County Sheriff's Office investigators haven't finished the investigation into the drowning yet, but the side of the family who was there that night says there's no doubt it was accidental. Now we're hearing from one of them for the first time.

Maternal grandmother Charla Assel said there's so much about 19-month-old Jossy they already miss: those beautiful eyes, that sweet smile.

"Just a playful little lovey-dovey baby," said Assel, "Every morning she would wake up and lean up in bed and say, 'Hi' and of course you'd have to say hi back and you'd blow her a kiss and she'd blow me one."

Charla said the little girl loved playing outside and all the kids and grandkids often played in the pond on the family's property.

"We're back off in the woods, we had never had problems with the pond before, this was a first," she said.

The family's nightmare began last week. On Wednesday just after 10pm. Jossy and her mother Amber took a walk on the property, and Charla said her daughter came running inside saying she couldn't find Jossy.

It was pitch black on the family's property in Holt, but Charla said she knew the first place they needed to look was the pond.

"First instinct," Charla said, "She was a water baby, she loved to play and splash and kick and all that good stuff, we just guessed."

Clay County sheriff's deputies spent hours at the home last week, investigators questioned Jossy's mother but released her, and as of Friday they tell Fox four that the investigation is not yet complete. But family members say they know the truth will come out.

"It was an accident, it was not on purpose," said Charla, "We miss Jossy with all our hearts. We will never forget her, there's no way and we're thankful we've had the support of community and friends and family who love us and know we didn't do anything wrong."

The family says they are comforted to know even though her life was short, it was filled with love.

"She's gone home to be with Jesus and we're assured of that we know," Charla said, "But she'll be missed forever and we love her."

The memorial service for Josslyn was Friday night at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Holt. Charla says lots of people from the community will be there and the family says they are very grateful for the community's support through this ordeal.

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  • Shannon

    JUSTICE FOR JOSSLYN….. STOP CHANGING YOUR STORY’s!!! None of you should have any children.. Amber is an incompetent human being and doesn’t deserve to see tge light of day or ever be able to have joy in her miserable life!!!

    • Kathy Smith

      I agree with you. Hopefully Amber will not get out of this like she has many other things. I would not trust any one person in that family. I would not be a bit surprised if Charla is not covering up for Amber. It has been that way for years. Hopefully you guys get JUSTICE for Jossy. Hopefully someone other than her family members that are Clay County officials will investigate this and put her, and anyone covering up for her right where they belong. R.I.P. Jossy.

  • Taylor

    Very sorry for the loss. But that makes no sense to just be walking at 10 pm and it was pitch black. How could you loose sight of her or take your eyes off of her for even one second. 19 month- old Jossy should have been in bed asleep at that time.

  • Joe

    There is something wrong with this entire story. What mother takes their small child out for a walk at 10PM and then suddenly loses the child and cannot find her? This wasn’t an accident. At the least, it was complete negligence and parents owe it to their children to take care of them and to keep them safe.

  • Debbi Bodenhamer

    No funeral on Friday night…this precious Angel was laid to rest in Warrensburg, Mo. on Thursday. Let this child please R.I.P. This was a true story of neglect. The mother never even showed remorse at her funeral. So very sad for the family who does care!

  • Kaleigh

    Its not fair to throw the whole family under the bus guys! The only person that had anything to do with this was Amber. Please leave the family out of this. I tried everything I could to save her. The rest of us are as heart broken as you. Stop pointing fingers at the ones who don’t deserve it. Its very unfair for you to say that none of us need kids, I understand that we all want answers but we have to wait unfortunately. Please quit talking about us.

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