Family in New Jersey Drowned While Trying to Save 8-Year-Old Girl: Report

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
June 25, 2020US News
Family in New Jersey Drowned While Trying to Save 8-Year-Old Girl: Report
A swimming pool in a file photo on June 24, 2020. (Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Two adults and a young girl from New Jersey who were found dead in a backyard swimming pool at their home earlier this week did not die from electrocution, according to multiple reports.

Investigators believe the three family members all drowned in the pool because none of them knew how to swim, the New York Post reported, citing law enforcement sources.

The East Brunswick Police Department and Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office identified the victims as Bharat Patel, 62, his daughter-in-law Nisha Patel, 33, and her 8-year-old daughter.

The investigators concluded that the young girl jumped into the above-ground pool at the family resort and began to struggle in the water. The girl’s grandfather was notified by a family member about the girl drowning, jumping in to save her, but he also didn’t know how to swim.

Finally, the girl’s mother jumped into the pool in an attempt to rescue both her father and daughter, but she also drowned.

There was another family member living in the house who witnessed the ordeal. That person was able to reach the young girl in the water, but not soon enough to save her life.

“This is a devastating day for our entire community,” said East Brunswick Police Chief Frank LoSacco.

LoSacco said police initially responded to an emergency call from a neighbor who dialed 911 after she heard screaming. Responding officers found the three individuals unresponsive.

“All the deceased were taken out of the pool. CPR was done and they were all pronounced [dead] in the backyard,” Losacco said.

“Our condolences go out to the family and may they find strength from the community that shares in their grief,” Mayor Brad Cohen said in a statement to, adding that the “entire East Brunswick community is shocked and saddened.”

A neighbor told CBS News the family had recently moved to New Jersey less than a month ago and an electrician was present at the home shortly after the incident.

“The fact that they had an electrician’s truck show up shortly thereafter… It wouldn’t make sense that three people just drowned right away like that. With an adult there too,” the neighbor told the outlet.

Initially, investigations were led to believe the family might have been electrocuted in the recently fixed pool, but authorities ruled that out Tuesday afternoon.

Drowning is the leading cause of death for young children, according to the National Safety Council. About 74 percent of drowning incidents involve children younger than 15, the department stated.

The CDC says that “everyone should know the basics of swimming (floating, moving through the water) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).”

“Most parents think water safety is first and foremost on their minds whenever they are enjoying summer activities with their young kids. But when the unthinkable happens, caregivers often say, ‘I only looked away for a second,'” an official with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said.

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