Boy Dies After Being Pulled from Atkins Pond

By Lee Hermiston, Reporter

ATKINS, Iowa - The new year at Benton Community Middle School will start on a somber note Monday.

Benton County Sheriff Randy Forsyth confirmed Thursday that a boy pulled from a man-made pond in Atkins Wednesday evening had died at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Forsyth identified the boy as 13-year-old Brandon Vogt, of rural Benton County.

News of the drowning has spread through Atkins.

"He's a stand up kid," said Sarah Dietze. Her son, Kaleb, was friends with Brandon. "He's a kind kid. Not mean; not mean to anybody."

Dietze said Brandon was "driven" and has aspirations to become a Navy Seal.

Forsyth said deputies were called to a large man-made pond near a housing development just east of Atkins at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday. The call was for an assumed drowning.

"The caller was one of the kids at the pond," he said. "They reported their friend going under and they couldn't find them."

By the time deputies arrived, members of the Atkins Fire Department had pulled Brandon from the water. He was transported to Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids and later to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Dietze said Brandon's parents will need a "tremendous amount of support." That will begin tonight with a vigil at the pond at 8:30.

Floating lanterns will be released out onto the pond, she said.
"It'll give boys a chance to support each other and the family," Dietze said. "Just let them know it's a strong community. We're all going to be there for each other and help each other out."
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