Grieving father of 3-year-old boy who drowned Saturday speaks out

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Donnelle Williams said he was at work when he got the call that his only son had drowned. (Source: Donnelle Williams/3TV/CBS 5) Donnelle Williams said he was at work when he got the call that his only son had drowned. (Source: Donnelle Williams/3TV/CBS 5)
The victim's name is Donelle Williams, Jr. and was autistic. (Source: Donelle Williams) The victim's name is Donelle Williams, Jr. and was autistic. (Source: Donelle Williams)
The 3-year-old boy was staying at his grandmother's house when he got into the pool. (Source: Donnelle Williams) The 3-year-old boy was staying at his grandmother's house when he got into the pool. (Source: Donnelle Williams)
"It's still a nightmare," said Williams. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) "It's still a nightmare," said Williams. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The drowning happened in north Phoenix on Saturday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The drowning happened in north Phoenix on Saturday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

The grieving father of the 3-year-old boy who drowned in his grandmother’s backyard pool near Tatum Boulevard and Union Hills Saturday afternoon speaks out.

On Tuesday, 3TV/CBS 5 learned the boy’s name is Donelle Williams, Jr. He wasn’t breathing and had no pulse the entire time Phoenix firefighters worked on giving him CPR.

[ORIGINAL STORY: 3-year-old boy pulled from pool in north Phoenix has died]

Donnelle Williams, 38, said he was at work when he got the dreaded call from his 12-year-old daughter.

"It's still a nightmare," said Williams.

Williams said his son is autistic and was fascinated with water.

He didn't want to go into details about what happened because it's difficult to relive. He said the boy's grandmother was watching several kids when she noticed Donnelle Junior was missing.

The family didn't know he knew how to open glass sliding doors.

“He loved the water and bath time,” said Williams about his only son.

Williams said he’s not mad at the boy's grandmother who is battling cancer and is feeling a tremendous amount of guilt. This was her first time in a while to spend time with her grandchildren since she's been sick. 

"Nothing is going to bring my boy back," said Williams in tears.

"Don't take anything for granted when it comes to your kids and pools," he added.

Williams said there was no fence around the pool. He's now encouraging parents to watch their kids closely around water and make sure you or the people who are watching your kids have a fence around the pool.

Williams said his family loves Donnelle Jr. very much and is worried if they'll be able to pay for a proper funeral.

He's created a GoFundMe account for anyone who wants to help.

The Phoenix Police Department said the investigation is ongoing.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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