Toddler drowns in backyard pool

July 8, 2008 4:32:38 PM PDT
A toddler has drowned in a backyard pool on Long Island. An aunt was watching the 2-year-old at the home in Huntington Station, but police said she got distracted.

A teenage cousin of the toddler woke up and spotted her at the bottom of the pool from a second floor deck.

Investigators say he ran downstairs and desperately tried to save her.

"He immediately dove into the water. He retrieved the child out of the water, brought her up onto the grass and family members and a neighbor immediately tried to give first aid," Det. Sgt. Thomas Groneman said.

The 2-year-old had walked out a sliding door from the family room on the same level, unseen by her aunt who was detectives say distracted on the phone for a few critical minutes.

"The 43-year-old aunt was on the phone with the child's mother. She was apparently faxing something. She left the child in a room watching tv, walked to the fax machine in an adjacent room, and that's when the child was out of her sight. As we all know, when a child is left out of your sight, bad things happen," Groneman said.

Neighbors told us that the little girl, identified as Ariana Guitierez, was always in the pool with kids of all ages. The children were usually supervised by adults, they said.

It is the third pool drowning in a week.