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East Cleveland residents concerned about fish kill at Forest Hill Park pond

Posted at 10:22 PM, Aug 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 23:11:18-04

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — Concerned residents in East Cleveland are wondering what's killing fish at Forest Hill Park pond.

It's an ongoing environmental mystery that also claimed the life of the park's prized 60-pound snapping turtle.

East Cleveland resident Juanita Gowdy told News 5 that she'll no longer let her 12-year-old grandson fish at the pond until Cuyahoga County health inspectors complete water tests.

“It’s devastating to see that turtles and fish are dying in our pond,” Gowdy said.

“It’s devastating to my community, it’s devastating to everybody. I’m really shocked and I’m really upset and it makes me feel sad.”

“I would not advise anyone to come and eat any fish until we are tested and see what is actually in the water.”

East Cleveland Community Activist Justyn Anderson told News 5 the fish started dying a few days ago.

“It’s very concerning that someone would dump toxic waste or whatever it is,” Anderson said.

"It's extremely important that whoever did this be prosecuted because we have kids and people fishing here and people take the fish home and eat it.”

Gordon Hay, President of the East Cleveland Park Association, told News 5 he believes toxic chemicals could have made their way into the pond through storm water sewers that originate from outside the park.

“You know I think it’s tragic, but why someone doesn’t do something about it I don’t know,” Hay said.

“The real question is how do we keep people from dumping things that are toxic for aquatic life.”

Hay said he hopes East Cleveland city hall will follow-up with county investigators on this case.

Meanwhile, residents like Juanita Gowdy have a final message for whoever is responsible for this environmental mystery.

“They need to go to jail, they need to do some time," Gowdy said.

"You do the crime, you need to do the time.”