Residents of a southern Manitoba community are devastated by the death of a three-year-old girl who drowned in a small pond near her family's home.
It happened just after 1:30 p.m. Tuesday just east of the community of Kane, located about 80 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.
According to RCMP, the girl had been pulled out of the pond but was unresponsive.
Kezia Joy Waldner was rushed to the hospital in Morris, about 25 kilometres away, but resuscitation efforts failed and the child died, said police.
"This has really shocked and saddened the whole community here," Patrick Waldner, a church pastor in Kane, told CBC News on Wednesday.
Waldner, who is a close friend of Kezia's family, described the little girl as a "bundle of energy."
"She had hair that went everyplace. She had a very adventurous spirit, and she had enough energy for about three children," he said.
Kezia was playing with one of her siblings behind the home when she wandered across a field towards an aerated pond.
Waldner said when he heard that Kezia had fallen into the water, he called members of the church to pray for a miracle. But by then, it was too late.
Members of Kezia's family, including her six siblings, are shocked by the tragedy and are relying on their faith to cope, the pastor said.
RCMP are urging people about the dangers around water bodies during the spring thaw.