Mother files wrongful death lawsuit in Bibb toddler's 2015 drowning

Mom files lawsuit in toddler's 2015 drowning

The mother of a toddler who drowned at Lake Tobesofkee has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the child's father.

In August 2015, searchers found 3-year-old Dylan Walsh’s body in the water near a dock behind the Fish and Pig restaurant.

"Words cannot describe the immeasurable amount of pain and hurt that I feel every moment, of every day of my life," says Jenean Winston, Dylan's mother. 

Walsh was at the restaurant with his father, who told Bibb deputies that he and his son were looking at the boats and when he turned his back for a few seconds, his son was missing.

The next morning, divers found Dylan's body in the water.

District attorney David Cooke said the child's father was drinking that night, but it was not a factor in the accident.

He said his office would not press charges against Mark Walsh, the child's father.

Now, Winston and her lawyer, Andrew Tate, are criticizing how the case was handled.

“I am not here to pass judgment. That's for our courts to do, that's for a jury to do, but they were not given that opportunity,” said Winston’s attorney Andrew Tate. “We ask two things. First, we'd like the district attorney to reopen this case, we're calling on him to reopen this case and indict Mr. Walsh. Second of all, we've filed a civil action against Mr. Walsh for the wrongful death and homicide of a child.”

Cooke says he agreed with the findings of the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, which said there was no probable cause that David Walsh committed a crime.

Tate questioned if race was playing a role in the case.

"We have a white father. We have a black mother. We have a bi-racial son who dies. If it was flipped the other way around I wonder what would happen," says Tate. 

When Cooke was questioned about racial bias, he said "this is always based on the facts and that doesn't change the facts. The facts are what they are." 

While Dylan’s death is a tragedy, Cooke said, not every tragedy is a crime.

Cooke said Mark Walsh remained on the scene for 11 hours, until his son’s body was found, and answered every question from investigators.

Cooke still says he will not press charges against Walsh. 

Winston and her lawyer are now focused on winning a civil suit against Walsh. 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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