Child Dies in Houston, TX Pool Pipe

StacieStauffSmith Photos /
StacieStauffSmith Photos /

As evening descended on a Double Tree Hotel in Houston, TX, it was discovered that an eight-year-old girl had gone missing. Responding quickly, the Houston Police, Houston Fire, and nonprofit EquuSearch came out to look for the girl. The founder of EquuSearch, Tim Miller, also responded.

Showing up on the scene, all Miller knew was that the girl had disappeared and was last seen in the swimming pool. “Did she wander off? Did somebody take her, or what? So, anyhow, we mobilized a lot of people. We had people actually searching outside and in different rooms and everything.” Joining his team and Houston Police in reviewing security footage, he saw that the girl had gone underwater but failed to resurface.

Taking cameras from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and attaching them to poles, they used them inside the now-drained pool to examine the pipes. Miller said, “We put them poles in there almost 20 feet, and we saw her little hand and part of her body, so we got the fire department back out there… She was wedged in there so very, very tight. I don’t think she decided, ‘I am going to swim in here and see what’s here.’”

As Miller later explained, the pool had malfunctioned, and this opening was supposed to push water out and not pull it in. This malfunction is what yanked the tyke so deep into the pipe and kept her trapped. The Houston Fire Department was able to free the body of the young girl after 13 hours of painstaking work.