Young Girl Dies After Being Sucked into Hotel Pool Pipe

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An eight-year-old girl drowned after being sucked into a one-foot-wide pipe in the swimming pool of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Houston, Texas.

On Saturday, March 23, 2024, shortly before 6 p.m., the police were notified of Aliyah Jaico’s disappearance. This led to an extensive search at the hotel along U.S. Highway 290, about 14 miles from the heart of downtown Houston.

Earlier in the day, Jaico had been swimming with her family in the hotel’s lazy river-style pool. The search ended tragically when Jaico’s body was discovered in a large pipe within the pool area around 11:30 p.m.

The discovery followed a review of security footage that showed Jaico submerging and not resurfacing. The search team drained the pool and used a camera to inspect roughly 20 feet inside one of the pool’s pipes, where they located Jaico’s body.

Upon their arrival, emergency medical responders pronounced Jaico dead at the scene. The Harris County Institute of Forensic Science identified the child and reported drowning and mechanical asphyxia as the preliminary causes of death, indicating the incident was accidental.

Further inquiries raised concerns about a possible malfunction in the pool’s piping system. Tim Miller, the founder of the Texas non-profit search group EquuSearch, noted potential issues with the pool’s pump, possibly resulting from incorrect wiring, which might have led to suction rather than water expulsion. These technical problems could have played a role in the accident.

Investigations revealed several safety violations, including improperly documented channel drains along the pool walls. Consequently, the pool has been closed indefinitely while the investigation continues.

Attorney Richard Nava informed a local media outlet of his actions in filing a wrongful death lawsuit for the family of Aliyah Jaico, seeking damages of at least $1 million.

The legal action targets Unique Crown Hospitality LLC, operating as DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Brookhollow, and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. as responsible parties.

According to the filed lawsuit, the family of Jaico sought to review the hotel’s security footage roughly half an hour after her disappearance. The hotel management refused this request, stipulating that police presence was required to permit access to the surveillance video.

In a sorrowful Facebook post, Aliyah’s grief-stricken mother, Daniela Jaico, uploaded a selfie captured at the swimming pool, describing it as ‘our final picture’ in the caption.

The Houston Police Department encourages anyone with information related to the incident to come forward as they await final autopsy results to determine Jaico’s cause and manner of death officially.

Tragically, this isn’t the first occurrence of such a deadly event. Back in the summer months of 2007, a six-year-old named Abigail Taylor was enjoying herself at a wading pool at the Minneapolis Golf Club. She had a tragic accident when she sat on a broken drain. The drain’s powerful suction tore her small intestine from her young body.

Abigail battled for her life for nine months, enduring 16 surgical procedures and the replacement of multiple organs. Unfortunately, she passed away in March of the year that followed.

More recently, a 10-year-old named Danika Ross faced a similar fate in 2021. She was tragically drawn into an unguarded and oversized irrigation pipe at a man-made pond located at a winery in Washington state. Her family claims in a wrongful death lawsuit that Danika, while swimming with her siblings, was pulled into the ungrated pipe.

She was forcibly pushed through an intense 90-degree turn in the pipe, being carried roughly 70 feet up a slope by the pipe’s pumping system.

The medical examiner from Grant County concluded that Danika’s death was due to asphyxiation caused by drowning and the compressive force on her torso from the pipe’s intense pressure.

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