2017: Pathway Church congregation mourns 11-year-old who drowned
Wichita police have identified the 11-year-old girl who drowned Sunday afternoon during a church function in west Wichita as Shelby Cramb.
Shelby was attending a Pathway Church function at a private home in the 3200 block of Ridgeport, near 29th and Ridge. There were about 100 children and several adults overseeing the event, according to police Lt. Jason Stephens.
When Shelby’s parents went to pick her up at the house shortly after 4 p.m. on Sunday, she could not be found. A nearby lake was searched and her body was found in the water nearly three hours later.
Police have classified the drowning as an accident.
A prayer vigil was held Monday night at the Pathway Church at 2001 N. Maize Road.
Shortly before vigil, Pathway Church executive pastor Larry Wren said Shelby was attending the lake party sponsored by the church’s middle school ministry.
Her death has prompted the church to review its safety procedures and guidelines for student and children’s activities.
“But at this time, our focus is bringing hope and healing to the Cramb family and so many others affected by Shelby’s tragic passing,” Wren said.
Shelby was a 6th-grade student at Maize Middle School. The Maize school district is making counselors available to students and has sent parents in the district resources for talking about the accident with their children.
In a prepared statement, Chad Higgins, superintendent of Maize USD 266, said the school community was mourning Shelby’s death.
“The Maize USD 266 school community has lost one of its own, Shelby Cramb, a 6th-grade student at Maize Middle School. Shelby attended Maize Central Elementary School from kindergarten through fifth grade, and educators and students at both schools are grieving her loss…
“Today, and in the coming days and weeks, our district will emphasize kindness, friendship, and support.”