Family of drowned nanny wants answers

July 4, 2008 4:48:16 PM PDT
The family of a nanny who gave her life to save a little boy is speaking out about what happened. The 3-year-old boy fell in his backyard swimming pool in Syosset. The nanny, Anna Montana, jumped in after him, even though she could not swim.He survived. She did not.

The young boy is recovering at Schneider Children Hospital. He woke up Friday morning telling his mother he wanted to go home. Meanwhile, Montana's family is spending their Fourth of July grieving. They say she sacrificed her life for the little boy.

"Anna was the kind of person that, she'd do anything for you," the victim's newphew, Kevin DeLeon, said.

DeLeon says his aunt died heroically. The live-in nanny jumped into the pool to rescue the little boy she cared for and loved like her own.

"It's just disbelief, because you don't expect things like that to happen," DeLeon said. "Especially not to someone you love."

When police and firefighters arrived, the mother was inside with the boy, who wasn't breathing. Rescuers resuscitated the boy, while Montana was still lying facedown in the water. It's not clear how long she was there, but relatives want answers.

"I really wish that more could have been done to rescue Anna," DeLeon. "I mean, the only thing I can say is that I wish she'd been pulled from the pool and treated and been given that second chance, just as the child she loved so much was."

At the time, the nanny was watching the toddler and his two older siblings, who are autistic. Police believe the boy wriggled out of a life jacket he was wearing and began struggling in the pool.

"She didn't care for the pool, and she often tried to stay as far away from it as she possibly could," DeLeon said. "So it's very shocking that she would be by the pool with the three children."

Relatives of Montana believe this tragedy could have been prevented, saying she was put in a potentially dangerous situation because she couldn't swim. She leaves behind a husband in Brooklyn and two daughters in Argentina. As for the toddler, he is expected to make a full recovery.


STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Lauren DeFranco