A 12-year-old Lafayette County boy died Monday afternoon after falling through ice into a partially frozen lake.
The body of Devin Fossett was recovered from Holiday Lake near Kite and Newton roads near Odessa. His dog was found on the bank along with his pellet gun.
Devin's family told deputies that he was known for going out into the area to hunt. But when several hours went by and he didn't return, they called authorities.
The Lafayette County Sheriff's Office responded to the area about 1:30 p.m. after the middle schooler was reported missing.
Odessa Fire Protection District Chief Kevin Campbell believes the boy tried to cross the ice-covered lake and may have fallen through the ice.
Rescue crews, in their special buoyancy gear, were able to crawl to a hole where they saw water coming out. They broke through the ice and found Devin's body. Paramedics attempted to resuscitate the child but were unsuccessful.
Neighbors described a caring boy with a playful smile that could fill a room.
"He was very well behaved," Sabra Franklin said. "Always giving. If I had problems getting up my stairs with my bad knees, Devin was right there getting me up those stairs."
Devin was a dutiful older brother. He loved to play outdoors including building make-believe forts and hunting.
Devin was a seventh grader at Odessa Middle School where he belonged to the wrestling team. The school has provided grief counselors.
Odessa firefighters have been trained and even they say it is difficult to predict how thick or strong the ice may be, despite how cold it has been, and that changing temperatures cause fluctuations in the thickness of the ice.
Authorities warn if there is a lake or pond near your home, this tragic accident should serve as a reminder to stay away.
"You can't tell how thick the ice is just by looking at it," Firefighter Kyle Campbell of the Odessa Fire Protection District said.
"Just don't go out on it," Fire Capt. Roger Kratz said.
A candlelight vigil will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at Dyer Park in Odessa.
His funeral will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at New Life Assembly of God in Oak Grove. Visitation will from noon to 2 p.m.
Memorial contributions can be made out to Fawn or Kevin Fossett and mailed to Royer Funeral Home at 101 SE 15th St, Oak Grove, MO 64075.
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