A boy who found his young cousin face down in a San Diego pool said he will never forget his attempts to save the 8-year-old's life.
"I remember how I picked him up out of the water," said Juan Galindo, who was swimming with his cousin, Brandon Reynoso, at a family party over the weekend. "He was dying in my hands and I couldn't do nothing."
The family had gathered Saturday at the Del Rio Apartments on Fenton Parkway near Rio San Diego Drive in Mission Valley.
Juan said he saw his cousin motionless in the water and thought at first Brandon was playing a joke, then realized the seriousness of the situation.
"I got so scared, I didn't know what to do," said Juan. "So I just brought him over there where everybody was."
Brandon was not a strong swimmer, according to Juan, and was wearing a dive mask over his face. The snorkel was not attached.
Emergency crews tried unsuccessfully to revive Brandon, who did not regain consciousness or take another breath on his own, authorities said.
"I was crying a lot, because I was scared," said Brandon's sister, Jennifer Reynoso. "I had hoped that he would be safe because it was just water."
Family members raised money at a food sale Monday to help cover the cost of Brandon's funeral. They remembered him as a happy child who loved to swim.
"We never thought that the water would take his life away, what he loved so much," said Jennifer.
"He was the only little brother I have," she added. "We used to call him Baby Brandon, in a nice way."
She was grateful to the 50 people who turned out Monday to buy food and raise money.
"They show that they care about him, even if they only knew him a little bit, or they only saw him once," Reynoso said.
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help cover funeral costs.
SDPD's Child Abuse Unit is investigating the drowning, as is the protocol in all sudden child deaths.
Irvine Company owns the property but declined to comment out of respect for the family.