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December 15, 2006
A five-month-old baby boy has died after his pram rolled into Adelaide's River Torrens today.
The baby died at the Women's and Children's Hospital after he was pulled from the river 20 minutes after his pram rolled into the river, police said, apparently while his mother - model and triathlete Kerry Lucas - was answering a phone call.
Paramedics worked on resuscitating the baby for 25 minutes before rushing him to hospital.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.
Seven News police reporter Jessica Adamson was one of the first people to rush down to the banks of the River Torrens in Adelaide about 9am today where Ms Lucas was screaming for help.
"We got there pretty quickly. One of our cameramen heard a woman screaming and saw her trying to flag down cars," Adamson told smh.com.au.
"We ran down to the river to see what was going on and found a young woman in her running clothes, fitness clothes, hysterical.
"She was saying, 'Where's my baby. Someone's stolen my baby."
Not realising her baby and the pram it had been in had fallen into the river, Ms Lucas explained to Adamson she had been jogging along the track when she stopped to take a phone call and write a phone number on her leg, because she had no paper.
"'I was writing a [phone] number down and when I turned around the baby was gone," Ms Lucas told Adamson. "I just feel so stupid."
For 20 minutes it was feared someone had kidnapped the baby before a police officer spotted the pram in the water about 500 metres from where the mother and Adamson had been.
"I saw them lifting the baby up and the baby was dripping wet and quite clearly unconscious."
Police administered first aid until an ambulance crew arrived and took the baby to hospital, a police spokesman said.
Adamson said it was the worst day in her career as a journalist.
"I mean I cover a lot of gruesome police stories but it doesn't get much worse than this. [The mother] was pretty hysterical.
"I just felt so hopeless because if I had known where the pusher had gone into the water maybe we could have got him out earlier."
Later, at least 20 uniformed police officers and detectives, along with divers from the Water Operations Unit, sealed off about 100 metres of the river track near where the child was found.
Holden Hill detective inspector Mick Fisher said soon after the incident that police had not ruled out the possibility of foul play and that another person may have been nearby at the time of the child's disappearance.
"I can't speculate other than the fact that we are looking at an allegation of a third person or a third party involved," Inspector Fisher said.
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