Family mourns the loss of Castlewood State Park drowning victims

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO - Family members of a Florissant woman are heartbroken as their loved one tried to save a 12 -year -old girl from drowning. The incident occurred Saturday afternoon on the Meramec River in Castlewood State Park.

Family members say her heroic efforts ultimately turned into a tragedy.

Family members of 34-year-old Rose Shaw are devastated. They say Shaw drowned while trying to save 12- year-old Deniya Johnson, “She had passed away trying to save her best friend's, friend. It was a normal day. She took her daughter and a couple of her daughter’s friends out to the river. They were out there to have fun and to get away. The little girl fell in and my sister went after her to try and save her,” said LaPatricia Shaw.

We are told a group of five were at the Meramec River Saturday. The group went underwater.

Some bystanders were able to pull three of the five to safety. Shaw and Johnson did not resurface.

“Even though she could not swim, it was the most heroic thing for her to do, to risk her life to try and save someone else’s. The fact that she's gone, it does not feel real.”

Rose Shaw had 12 siblings and was the mother of two.  Her friends and family are having a hard time trying to cope with the loss. “She was an amazing sister, she made you laugh at the same time while making you mad. She was the only person who could do that.”

Shaw's family wants the park closed since this is not the first time a drowning has happened there. “I don’t think that this park should be opened to the public, it's just too dangerous. Just looking at it, you would think people would want to swim or take chances, but they don’t know the severity of it or what going to happen once they get into that water.”