Family Members Drown In Same Sinkhole Weeks Apart

By: Leon County Sheriff's Office, Jason Kahn
By: Leon County Sheriff's Office, Jason Kahn

Leon County Sheriff's Office Press Release

The person who drowned yesterday, Saturday, June 22, 2013, has been identified as Donaje Brown,

19 years-old. An autopsy conducted this morning, Sunday, June 23, 2013, has confirmed that Brown’s death was the result of drowning.

The preliminary investigation has revealed that Brown had been swimming in the sinkhole with a small group of friends when he became distressed and drowned.

Brown’s friends attempted to assist him to the surface, however they were unsuccessful.


By: Jason Kahn
June 22, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Lillian Miller is the grandmother of Donaje Brown. He's the second member of his family to die from a sinkhole off Crawfordville Highway in Tallahassee in the past month.

"That's very hard. It's real hard,” Miller said. “I just got him in school and he was an honor roll student and everything. I just got him back on the right track."

Police were called around 10 a.m. Saturday and found the deceased 19-year-old. Brown is the cousin of Dominique Hollis, 24, who died in the sinkhole about three weeks ago.

"I couldn't even imagine the pain that I'm still going through because its been so much on our family,” said Wanda Atkinson, the aunt of the victim. "And I'm just asking for God's strength to take us a little farther."

The family says Brown was swimming with friends, but at one point he went under and didn't come up.

"Something has to be done about this,” Miller says. “There has to be a way where nobody can go down in that sinkhole. And for them to lose another person, something needs to be done about this."

Family members say Brown should've never been around this sinkhole in the first place. And that's why they're pleading for additional safety measures.


Leon County Sheriff's Office Release

TALLAHASSEE, FL - This morning, Saturday June 22, 2013, at 10:10am the Leon County Sheriff’s Office responded to a sinkhole located behind 4225 Crawfordville Road in reference to the report of a drowning.

When deputies arrived they were advised by witnesses that a person had entered the sinkhole, became distressed and did not surface.
The Leon County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Dive Team responded to the sinkhole and recovered the body of a deceased male.

Detectives from the Violent Crimes Unit and the Crime Scene Unit
responded to the scene to conduct witness interviews and collect evidence from the scene.

The identity of the deceased is not being not released at this time, pending family notification. This investigation is
continuing and additional information will be released when available.


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