Toddler succumbs to drowning in creek |

Toddler succumbs to drowning in creek

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

A 2-year-old girl died early Sunday morning after she became separated from her cousins and grandmother Saturday and fell into a creek near Lepire Hill.

Diana Rodriguez, who would have turned 3 in August, was found unresponsive about 3 p.m. floating in Eagle Creek east of Edmonds Drive.

According to Detective Dena Lacy, Diana was with her 10-year-old brother and six other children in the care of her grandmother, Josephina Gonzales, 50, when the family set out for a hike up Lepire Hill in East Carson City.

Once at the top, Lacy said, Gonzales realized Diana was not with the group.

After gathering the children together, they began to call Diana’s name.

“She asked the boys if there was water down there and they said no. Then Grandma happened to move some bushes and saw a little doll floating in the water,” Lacy said. “Then she remembered what the little girl was wearing.”

Lacy said Gonzales rushed to her granddaughter and pulled the child from the water. She sent one of the older children to find their uncle.

“And she hikes back up the mountain with the baby in her arms,” Lacy said.

Diana Cranston was at the top of Lepire Hill with a friend test driving a vehicle when she saw the uncle coming toward her with Diana’s lifeless body in his arms.

Cranston, a former CPR instructor for the American Heart Association, said she could tell there was something wrong.

“I knew immediately, that baby needed help,” she said Monday.

As Cranston began CPR on the child, her friend, fluent in Spanish, spoke to the family.

With eight children of her own, Cranston stopped only when medics arrived.

News of little Diana’s fate saddened Cranston.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family,” she said “I’m really torn up over this. I wish that I could have done more.”

n Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.