Toddler drowns in home pool in Rome Township

Published 12:24 pm Wednesday, September 13, 2023

ROME TOWNSHIP — A three-year-old girl is dead, after drowning in a pool in Rome Township, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office announced.

According to a news release, at about 8:40 a.m. on Tuesday, the sheriff’s office received a call of a missing three-year-old girl on Township Road 1268.

Upon the deputies’ arrival, the mother of the missing child stated to them that her daughter had somehow managed to slip out the front door without her knowing. When she discovered her daughter was missing and after searching the residence, she reviewed her camera system which showed the child going out the front door.

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The recording shows the child playing a few minutes on the porch. The child then leaves the porch and out onto Private Drive, where she then leaves camera view. The mother and the mother’s sister, who lives next door, began to search the area.

After a quick search and not locating the child, they notified the sheriff’s office.

Deputies arrived on the scene and requested aid from the Proctorville Fire Department and the Chesapeake Fire Department to search the area. Deputies immediately began their search of the wooded area.

Cpl. Daren Hamlin was walking a creek bank, when he heard someone screaming for help. As he came into the backyard of the Township Road 1267 residence, which is approximately a half mile from the child’s home, he witnessed the aunt carrying the child from an above ground pool.

Hamlin went to them and began CPR. While performing CPR with the assistance of fire personnel, he was able to get water out of the child’s lungs. Lawrence County EMS arrived on the scene and transported the child to Cabell Huntington Hospital. The child died later in the evening.

The residence where the child was located also has security cameras. These cameras show the child entering the backyard with her dog. She goes up the stairs of the deck and then down the stairs of the pool. She plays in the water while on the steps of the pool for a few minutes before she gets away from the steps and goes underwater out of camera view.

This incident remains under investigation. The names are not being released currently to allow the family to make notification to other family members.

“Our heartfelt sorrows go out to the family,” Lawless said. “I want to commend my staff, and especially Cpl. Hamlin, as well as the Proctorville Fire Department and the Lawrence County EMS for their life saving efforts in this situation.”