MERCED, Calif. (KSEE) – Seven-year-old Jocelyn Ponce loved to pretend to make YouTube videos when she was not busy singing, dancing, or playing with her little brother.
“She was very sweet, liked to be active with people, and care for them,” her mother Rosie Ramos said.
On Saturday, Jocelyn and her family went to spend the afternoon at the Merced River. Her parents Rosie and Raul say Jocelyn wandered away while they were feeding her younger siblings. Shortly after, she was discovered in the river by other visitors.
“I was searching for her, searching for her, and couldn’t find her. That’s when I saw the fire trucks and police coming,” Raul said.
It is still unknown how Jocelyn got under the water, but she died at a local hospital later that evening.
Members of the community have set up a car wash to help the family pay for the funeral of a little girl they all say they knew and loved.
“She was an outgoing little girl. She always had something to say to someone. Every time I would come out, she would tell me how beautiful I look, or ask ‘where you going?’” Brenda Pimentel, a neighbor of the family said.
The car wash continues on Thursday at Iglesia de Cristo: 6061 N. Winton Way, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.