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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