Parents rarely face formal charges when their children drown in swimming pools. Even in cases where charges are brought, prosecutors more often choose to dismiss rather than pursue a conviction.

Some cases do, however, make it through the criminal court system. Following are nine separate incidents and the current status of each.

Taken together, they represent a cross-section of scenarios in which caregivers were held accountable, at least initially, for their children’s deaths.


Location: Moreno Valley, Calif.

Incident Date: 5/7/2011

Charges(s): One count of Felony Child Abuse; one count of being Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance

Status: Case is active in Riverside County Superior Court

Rousseau was arrested when her 2-year-old daughter nearly drowned in the backyard pool after she was “left unattended for an undetermined period of time,” according to Moreno Valley police. The child, who was rushed to the hospital, is now disabled and requires the care of an in-home nurse, authorities said.


Location: Largo, Fla.

Incident Date: 3/5/2011 

Charges(s): Child Neglect

Status: State’s attorney declined to prosecute

Kirby was arrested and charged by Pinellas County Sheriff’s after her 3-year-old son nearly drowned in the pool of a Holiday Inn. Kirby and a companion had left the 3-year-old in the care of their two other children, ages 7 and 9, while they went to the hotel tiki bar. Witnesses noticed the child motionless in the pool, pulled him out, began CPR and called 9-1-1. The child survived.


Location: Hendersonville, Tenn.

Incident Date: 6/20/2010

Charges(s): Aggravated Child Neglect

Status: Due to stand trial in Sumner County Criminal Court in 2012

Pierce was arrested after her 19-month-old son drowned in the family’s aboveground pool. The boy was discovered by his grandfather, who reportedly told investigators that Pierce was an attentive mother. Pierce told police she had left the home to attend a neighbor’s yard sale, and “had no idea where her…son was,” according to an affidavit.


Location: Jacksonville, Fla.

Incident Date: 6/19/2010

Charge(s): Two counts each of Aggravated Manslaughter and Child Neglect

Status: Awaiting trial in Duval County (Fla.) Circuit Court

The Ibeagwas were arrested after their two children, ages 6 and 3, were left home alone and subsequently drowned in a neighbor’s swimming pool. The couple were reportedly at their respective workplaces at the time of the incident. According to investigators, each admitted to leaving the children home, unsupervised, on multiple occasions.


Location: Byron, Ga.

Incident Date: 6/11/2010

Charges(s): One count each of Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless Conduct

Status: Charges dismissed by Houston County District Attorney’s Office

The couple were charged and surrendered to authorities a month after Shanna Mayo’s 3-year-old son drowned in their backyard pool. Part of a “blended family,” according to newspaper reports, the toddler was in an inflatable kiddie pool nearby while his sister was in the larger one. He joined her, but soon became submerged. Both parents were indoors at the time.


Location: Las Vegas

Incident Date: 5/2/2010

Charges(s): One count of Child Abuse and Neglect with Substantial Bodily Harm Resulting in Death; two counts of Child Neglect

Status: Pleaded guilty to one count of Child Abuse and Neglect with Substantial Bodily Harm Resulting in Death and sentenced on 6/16/2011 to 2- to 5 years in prison, with 281 days’ credit for time served

Lopez was arrested nine days after her 2-year-old son was found by his grandmother in the family pool. The grandmother told police he had been there for three hours. Speaking of her son, who was diabetic and required frequent insulin shots, Lopez allegedly told investigators she was “happy that he’s gone” and didn’t have to suffer anymore. Lopez and her mother also gave differing accounts as to when they called police.


Location:Delray Beach, Fla.

Incident Date: 12/29/2009

Charges(s): Two counts of Child Neglect

Status: State’s attorney declined to prosecute

Alfred was arrested and charged in the near-drownings of her two children, ages 2 and 3, and a third 3-year-old child while visiting a friend’s house. Alfred reportedly believed the children were in a bedroom, when in fact they had wandered into a neighbor’s fenced-in backyard and fell into the pool. All three children survived, though the youngest was hospitalized for nearly a month.


Location: Las Vegas

Incident Date: 6/30/2009

Charges(s): One count of Second-Degree Murder; one count of Child Abuse and Neglect with Substantial Bodily Harm

Status: Case dismissed in October 2009

Badosky was apprehended in Florida six weeks after her daughter, Chrissa Matthews, drowned in an aboveground pool at Badosky’s mother’s home. Chrissa was taken off life-support three days before her 2nd birthday. Since 2005, Badosky had been investigated 10 times by the Clark County Family Services Department over allegations of abuse and neglect involving her 5-year-old son, who is blind and developmentally delayed, according to news reports. 


Location:Lumber Bridge, N.C.

Incident Date: 7/2/2006

Charges(s): Involuntary Manslaughter and Misdemeanor Child Abuse

Status: Pleaded guilty to the charges; spent two days in jail and received probation

Jimmerson was arrested and charged in connection with the death of her 2-year-old son, who was found floating in a backyard swimming pool. A months-long investigation led authorities to conclude that a history of neglect culminated in the child’s drowning, according to news reports.