3-year-old girl found in bottom of Lufkin motel pool dies

Source: KTRE
Source: KTRE
Source: Lufkin Police Drpartment
Source: Lufkin Police Drpartment

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - On Wednesday, the Lufkin Police Department confirmed that the 3-year-old girl found in the bottom of a motel pool Tuesday afternoon died at Texas Children's Hospital.

The incident is still under investigation.

Jessica Pebsworth, a spokeswoman for the Lufkin Police Department, said that the child has been identified as Arianna Smith, of Lufkin. The toddler remains in unknown condition at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. Pebsworth said that Ariana died at the Houston hospital earlier this afternoon.

"The incident remains under investigation, but based on preliminary information, we do not anticipate charges being filed," Pebsworth said.

Arianna's family checked into Lufkin's Motel 6 at about noon Tuesday, Pebsworth said. She said that the little girl and her father, Rondarius Smith, 26, were watching TV when he fell asleep.

Arianna's grandfather John Smith said he is in shock after learning what happened to his granddaughter.

"I'm devastated right now. I don't know how to take it because I just found out," John said.

After Arianna exited the motel room, she entered the pool area, which police said had a broken gate latch.

However, bystander Monica Lamborn, who brought Arianna out of the pool, said she believes differently and said its up to management to ensure the pool area is safe.

"If they made sure that their gates were locked after they put their chemicals in there, that child would have never ended up in the pool," Lamborn said.

The gate latch will be a key point for investigators.

"We know from surveillance footage that she entered the water at 4:38 p.m., and the Good Samaritan rescued her at 4:48 p.m.," Pebsworth said. "She was underwater for 10 minutes and 40 seconds. Another bystander began CPR until Lufkin Fire paramedics arrived."

Pebsworth said Arianna's mother had left the hotel to run errands when the incident occurred.

Arianna was flown by helicopter to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston Tuesday night.

"We ask that the community keeps Arianna and her families in their thoughts and prayers," Pebsworth said.

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