8-year-old drowns in Verde River; family seeks donations

An 8-year-old boy drowned this past weekend at the Beasley Flat recreation area along the Verde river.

Jessica Arroyo will tel you her 8-year-old son Dimas Mendez, who they called "Junior" was the light of her life.

"Life, he was full of it, he was full of live positively, that was him, just go go go happy," said Jessica Arroyo.

On the 4th of july Junior and other family members were visiting the Verde River. Arroyo wasn't there, she said her brother was crossing the Verde River with Junior to get to their car to go home when they stepped off a ledge on the river bottom and went down in 7 feet of water.

"But the current was really strong because of the monsoon season, we actually have one this year, it was fine with them crossing there, but coming back they stepped in something really deep and the current just got them," said Arroyo.

Junior's uncle tried desperately, but could not find the 8-year-old.

It would be an hour before Yavapai County's Water Rescue Team located his body.

Arroyo is a single mom of three, Junior was her youngest. She works as a housekeeper at a local mall, and says the entire northern Arizona community is rallying around her as the family raises money for a funeral.

"We have our faith, I know god came down and got him, I know that I'm right with it, and I know I'm blessed because I had a chance to have him, and he spent this much time with us and he touched everybody's lives," said Arroyo.

If you would like to help the family with funeral expenses visit: http://www.gofundme.com/jrsmemorialfund