Navarre man charged in drowning death of infant girl

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NAVARRE, Fla. (WKRG) — A one-year-old child died Sunday evening after drowning at Navarre Beach, according to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office (SRCSO). 

Tracy Colton Potter, 29 of Navarre, is charged with negligent manslaughter in the death, deputies announced Monday morning. 

A media release from the SRCSO says deputies were dispatched around 7:15 p.m. Sunday to Grand Navarre Boulevard in regard to a missing child. 

Deputies and others searched the area for the child and found the infant girl deceased in a canal near the home. 

Detectives and crime scene investigators arrived to the scene to investigate. Based on the investigation, Potter, the father of the child, was arrested. 

Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said Monday afternoon the girl was last seen with Potter around 9 a.m. Sunday morning. She was found dead around 8:30 p.m. Sunday night by paddle boarders who noticed her floating body.

“(Potter) was discovered sleeping on a table outside of his residence about 1 p.m. by his girlfriend,” Johnson said. “She wakes him up. He goes upstairs and passes out again. He wakes up at 7 or so and makes a phone call to us at 7:15.” 

Johnson would not comment whether or not drugs were involved. But he did say it’s important for parents to stay alert and keep track of their children. 

“When you have a 1-year-old, it’s incumbent on you to say lucid enough to where you know where that child is at all times and obviously he didn’t do that,” Johnson said. “He didn’t even come close to doing that and that’s why he’s in jail and hopefully he’s going to prison for a long time.” 

Potter is being held in the Santa Rosa County jail. 

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