Death appears to be from drowning

Final ruling on toddler awaits police investigation

HERMITAGE, Pa. — A preliminary autopsy report shows that Annakin Gammon, 2, of Sharon, died because of drowning, according to Mercer County Coroner John A. Libonati.

Gammon was pronounced dead at 10:23 p.m. Sunday in the emergency room of Sharon Regional Health System after he was found unresponsive in a backyard swimming pool in the 600 block of Syme Street in Masury, several blocks from his home.

Libonati said a final ruling on Gammon’s death is pending investigations being conducted by Brookfield Township and Sharon police departments.

Sharon police Chief Gerry Smith said Tuesday he can’t comment on details of a search of Gammon’s Lafayette Street home or whether any charges will be filed.

“It is still an active investigation,” Smith said.

A call to Mercer County assistant District Attorney David Wenger was not returned Tuesday.

Brookfield detectives and members of the Ohio Bureau of Investigation spent hours late Sunday and early Monday detailing the scene at the Syme Street address. Libonati said information from that investigation will be added to his final report.

The child and his 5-year-old brother had been the subjects of a neighborhood-wide search Sunday by emergency personnel and neighbors after it was reported about 5 p.m. they had wandered away from home.

The 5-year-old brother, who was not identified and reported to be autistic and unable to speak, was found safe about 5:30 p.m., a few blocks from where Gammon was found.

According to Brookfield police detective Aaron Kasiewicz, Gammon was found by a Vienna firefighter in a 4-foot high, backyard above-ground pool. Medics at the scene performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the toddler before he was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

The search for the two boys had encompassed over a dozen blocks involving about 100 neighbors, police and fire personnel, police dogs, a Pennsylvania State Police helicopter and an Austintown police drone.