3-year-old girl drowns in Plum family’s swimming pool
A 3-year-old girl drowned in a backyard swimming pool Aug. 1 in Plum.
The child reportedly was found at the bottom of the pool by a family member, Allegheny County Police said.
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner identified the girl Friday morning as Ca-Nayah Mitchell.
The incident happened at a home at the end of a cul-de-sac on Ridgewood Court in The Ridge housing plan.
County 911 dispatchers received a report of the incident at about 7:50 p.m.
Allegheny County Police said Friday the cirumstances surrounding the drowning are still under investigation.
Medics rushed the girl to Forbes Hospital in Monroeville, where she was pronounced dead about an hour later.
Multiple neighbors told the Tribune-Review they saw several children playing at the home shortly before emergency responders arrived.
Tracy Greco, 31, who lives two houses away, came home to find several Plum and Allegheny County police cars parked on her block.
“It’s heartbreaking to drive up the street and see all this going on,” Greco said.
She and several other concerned neighbors stood quietly in their yards and looked toward the house as an Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office crime scene investigation truck pulled up shortly after 9:30 p.m.
Police from Plum and Allegheny County detectives interviewed witnesses inside the residence and examined and took photos of the backyard and its pool area.
“Oh, this breaks my heart,” Greco said. “It’s really, really, really sad.”
“You always think, too, this stuff doesn’t happen in your neighborhood, it doesn’t happen on your block — but it does,” she said.
Plum Police requested assistance from Allegheny County Police’s homicide unit. The homicide unit also conducts fatal investigations that don’t involve a homicide.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1 year old to 4 years old than any other cause except birth defects.
Among children in that age range most occur in home swimming pools, according to the CDC.
The CDC data shows about 3,560 people died each year from 2005 to 2014 from unintentional drowning not related to boating. An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.
About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 years old and younger.
Some of the leading risk factors for drowning include not knowing how to swim, a lack of barriers around the pool, lack of supervision, failure to wear a life jacket, alcohol use near water and seizure disorders.
Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .