"Nobody saw..." New questions after a girl drowns in a rented pool in New Jersey

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Investigation continues after 7-year-old drowns at rented pool in NJ
Anthony Johnson has the latest on the drowning of a 7-year-old girl at a rented backyard pool in Teaneck over the weekend.

TEANECK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Authorities are continuing to investigate the suspected drowning of a 7-year-old girl at a rented backyard pool in New Jersey over the weekend.

Police say the little girl was found at the bottom of the pool around 6 p.m. Sunday at a home on Westervelt Place in Teaneck.

CPR was initiated, and the girl was transported to Holy Name Medical Center.

She was pronounced deceased at the hospital just before 7:30 p.m.

"We extend our sincerest condolences to her family and friends during this most trying time," the police department said in a statement.

The homeowner, who did not want his name used, told Eyewitness News that he and his wife rent out their pool through Swimply and that this particular group was about 10 adults and 15 kids.

He said they greet guests and provide them with the rules, and that renters are required to sign waivers through the website and are responsible for monitoring their own guests.

"We tell the parents, there's no lifeguard on duty," he said. "We show them the sign, we let them know, 'You must watch the children. We're going to go inside. We're not going to bother you.'"

He said he and his wife were home at the time and found the girl after she had disappeared, and that police were called while others searched for her outside the yard.

"A person, a man...dove in the pool twice, searching, saying he didn't see her," the homeowner said.

But his wife spotted something at the bottom of the pool, and he then made the discovery just as police arrived.

"When you bring children to a pool, your only priority is to pay attention to your children," he said. "Because like they said, she drowned silently. It was quiet. Nobody heard heard a flail. Nobody saw it. They weren't paying attention."

He said there were no screams or splashes, and that he believes the girl might have been inside the pool going around holding on to the edge when she just lost her grip and went under.

The investigation is ongoing.

There have been nearly a dozen drownings in the past month in New Jersey alone.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the victim's family to help cover funeral costs.

ALSO READ | Experts urge swim lessons, water safety to prevent child drownings

As more local pools and parks are re-opening from pandemic shutdowns, the American Academy of Pediatrics is urging families to provide swim lessons.


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