Child drowns in swimming pool; brother remains hospitalized

Large pot growing operation also found in home

LA MESA, Calif. - A man was hauled away in handcuffs on Monday after two toddlers were found unconscious in his pool.

On Monday evening, DEA agents brought out one marijuana plant after the other – some as large as Christmas trees – from a home on Sunset Avenue in La Mesa and piled them into the back of a pickup truck. To make room for more plants, an agent had to stomp on them.

Meanwhile, investigators questioned a man about the pot and the two toddlers found unconscious in his pool hours earlier.

Then, the questioning then stopped and deputies hauled the man off to jail. As they walked him to a patrol vehicle, reporters asked him why he did not call an ambulance for the children.

10News reporter Itica Milanes heard him mumble, "I didn't have a phone."

A woman admitted to sheriff's officials that she had been staying at the home and said the incident happened in the home's backyard swimming pool.

She told sheriff's officials she woke up at about 9:45 a.m. and could not find her 1-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. Both somehow made their way to the backyard and were found unconscious in the pool.

The woman and a friend took the children to the La Mesa Fire Station in the 9100 block of Grossmont Boulevard and asked firefighters to help revive her children. Sheriff's officials said the friend left the scene.

Paramedics tried to revive the children until an ambulance arrived. They were taken to Grossmont Hospital where the girl died. The boy was transferred to Rady Children's Hopsital where his condition is unknown. 

Detectives said the mother lied to them, saying she and the children had been staying at the Lamplighter Mobile Home Park when they had really been at the home on Sunset Avenue.

Investigators suspect it was because of the sophisticated marijuana growing operation that federal agents said took up most of the upstairs and downstairs of the home. Drug agents were also seen bringing large indoor plant-growing lights out of the home.

Neighbors say they knew something was not right because the blinds were always closed and the renters kept to themselves.

Homicide detectives could not be reached Monday night for information about possible charges against the mother and what charges the man arrested is facing.

Print this article Back to Top