Mum accused of drinking in bar as seven-year-old daughter drowned in hotel pool
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Featured Image Credit: Google Street View/ Melville Marriott
A mother has been accused of drinking cocktails in a hotel bar as her daughter drowned in the pool.
Seven-year-old Katlyn Pineda suffered severe brain damage after she was found floating in the swimming pool of the hotel where the family had been staying. She died 15 months later.
Baez, from the Bronx, has now been held in custody without bail.
Court documents indicate that Baez had been staying at the Melville Marriott Hotel in Suffolk County in January 2022.
She was there with her boyfriend, seven-year-old daughter, and five-month-old son.
On 13 January 2022 at about 3.30pm, Baez requested that the gate to the pool be opened up so her daughter could play in the pool. Staff have said they warned her that as there was no lifeguard on duty, she would have to supervise her daughter the entire time.
However, instead Baez allegedly left her daughter alone in the pool and went into the hotel bar, where she had a cocktail and some food.
It is alleged that it was around half an hour before she then went to check on her daughter in the pool. She then went to check on her five-month-old son, who she had allegedly left alone the hotel room.
She then reportedly returned to the hotel bar for another drink. It was another half an hour before she went to check on her daughter again, the documents allege.
When Baez went to check on her daughter the second time, Katlyn was floating in the pool.
Prosecutors have claimed that she did not immediately jump into the water, but instead took off her shoes and socks and put her phone down before entering the water.
Paramedics at the scene found that Katlyn did not have any pulse and was in cardiac arrest when they arrived.
They were able to revive her heartbeat while the ambulance was on the way to the hospital. However, by the time they were able to intervene, Katlyn had already suffered irreversible, life-changing brain damage as a result of oxygen deprivation.
Baez allegedly told paramedics that her daughter had only been by herself for five minutes when they arrived at the scene. Katlyn was initially treated at the paediatric intensive care unit at Cohen’s Children’s Hospital, where she stayed for around two months.
While there she had to be fed through a tube and was reliant on a ventilator. She was later moved over to a facility in New Jersey, where she passed away more than a year after the incident.
In a statement, Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said: “The alleged actions of this defendant were selfish, senseless and heartless. We are going to do everything we can to ensure that justice is served for little Katlyn, whose short life ended too soon.”
Baez pleaded not guilty in a court hearing on 16 May. She has been held without bail and is due to appear for a further hearing on 24 May.
Tyla has contacted the Melville Marriott Hotel for a comment.