COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Columbus community is mourning after a four-year-old girl was found dead in a retention pond this weekend.
Ester Mutivito was reported missing Friday and found Saturday in a retention pond in the area of Belcher Drive and Dresden Street.
A memorial sits near the pond in the apartment complex, with candles, flowers, and stuffed animals left for the girl.
“It shouldn’t be there, it shouldn’t be there, man,” said Derrick Russell. “It’s sad, man. It’s sad. It shouldn’t be there. That memorial should not be there.”
Russell, who lives close to where Ester’s body was found, saw the search Saturday and started to help.
“It’s just the right thing to do and then, you know, like I said, my daughter, her kids, my sister and her kids, my nieces and nephews, I would want someone to do the same for them, too,” he said.
Ester was reported missing Friday afternoon from the area of Le Marie Court and Morse Road, less than a mile from the pond.
Columbus police posted to Facebook, writing, “The search for Ester has ended. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Ester. This tragic ending is not the outcome we, as a community, were hoping for.”
“Most definitely, I get to thinking about my daughter and her kids and my nieces and my nephews, and I’m like, ‘Man, we need to tighten up. We got to make sure this tragedy won’t happen again,” Russell said. “Let’s be better keepers of the community.”
A vigil for Ester was initially planned for Sunday night, but was postponed because of the rain.