Phil Bettis (left) rescued a 2-year-old boy (right) from a pool in Forsyth County.

‘A Godly intervention’: Judge rescues toddler from pool who was reported missing

A Forsyth County associate judge helped save a missing child who was floating in an unoccupied home’s swimming pool, authorities said.

A missing 2-year-old boy was reported missing Sunday by the child’s mother, Danielle Cherie Wright, 25, who said the child escaped through an unlocked back door and had been gone for nearly 30 minutes, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

The sheriff’s office issued a Reverse 911 call, alerting nearby residents to be on the lookout for the child, the release said. 

One of the residents who received the call was Phil Bettis, who serves as an associate magistrate judge in Forsyth County.

He told Channel 2 Action News he had a hunch where the child might be — his late mother’s home.

This is the home where a 2-year-old was rescued from the pool.
Photo: Channel 2 Action News

“I think that was a Godly intervention to take care of that child,” Bettis said. “I went straight to the pool.”

There, he found the child floating in a swimming pool on his back, being kept afloat by his diaper, officials said. Bettis rushed to rescue the child.

“It was like the wind blew or he motioned enough to get me close enough to stretch from the edge of the pool to reach in,” Bettis told Channel 2. “I grabbed his left foot and pulled him toward me. I tried to calm him and say, ‘It’s OK. I got you baby.’”

The child received medical assistance and is in good condition, according to the release.

Danielle Cherie Wright
Photo: Forsyth County Sheriff's Office

Wright was arrested shortly after the search, when deputies searching her Campground Road home noticed “deplorable living conditions,” officials aid. The Division of Family and Children Services was contacted as a result.

After further investigation of the home and care of the mother’s two children, both were removed from the home and placed in the custody of DFCS, according to the news release.

Wright faces charges of second-degree cruelty to children and reckless conduct. She is being held in the Forsyth County Jail on a $11,735 bond, according to jail records.

In other news:

They said the robber got away with a small amount of money and ran off.

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