Man drowns at east Wichita apartment complex

A man was found at the bottom of one of the swimming pools inside the Horizons East apartment complex in east Wichita on Friday morning, police said.

The man, who does not live in the complex, was discovered by a maintenance man at about 8 a.m. when he arrived at the pool to unlock the gate for the fence providing security for the pool, Wichita police Capt. Kevin Mears said.

Police were able to identify the man through his fingerprints, Mears said, but his name is being withheld pending the notification of relatives. While the incident appears to be a drowning, Mears said investigators are awaiting the coroner’s findings to confirm the cause of death.

The homicide unit is investigating the case, but Mears said that is standard procedure for an unattended death.

If the man’s death is confirmed as a drowning, it would be the fifth of the year in Wichita and the second in a swimming pool. Two others were in creeks or rivers and the fifth was in a bathtub, Wichita police Sgt. Nikki Woodrow said.

Terrell Miller, who has lived at Horizons East for three years, said the pool where the man was found is the largest of three pools at the complex. It closes at 10 p.m., he said, but it’s common for people who don’t live in the complex to climb over the fence to use the pool late at night.

“People’s over here all the time swimming that’s not supposed to be back there,” Miller said.

A resident who did not want his name used said it appeared the drowning victim used a chair to assist his climb over the fence. Though he regularly comes downstairs late at night to get a soda from a pop machine next to the pool, Miller said he did not see the drowning victim at the pool late Thursday night.

“It’s just sad … that nobody seen him” and could have provided help in time, Miller said.

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger

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