Visalia grandmother and grandson drown in family pool

June 13, 2013 12:17:45 AM PDT
Visalia police are calling the drowning of a grandmother and her grandson an accident. But many questions remain about their deaths. Family members say the grandmother was a proficient swimmer.

Tragedy struck a street in Southwest Visalia Tuesday after 50-year-old Hollie Lilly and her 3-year-old grandson, Braiden Manning, drowned in Lilly's pool. Police say after being gone nearly two hours, family members returned to the house to find both under water.

Sgt. Paul Esquibel said, "Family members dove into the pool and immediately pulled both of them out and immediately began CPR."

According to police, family members describe the 50-year-old as a proficient swimmer. The 3-year-old was still learning how to swim. Both were found in the below ground-pool, wearing swimsuits. Still, officers don't have a clear picture of what happened right before the two drowned.

Sgt. Paul Esquibel said, "It's unfortunate for this particular incident because we don't know what exactly happened other than the two victims were found in the pool."

At In-Shape Health Clubs in Visalia, instructors give swimming lessons to children as young as 6-months-old.

Brianne Dodd with Jim Booth Swim School said, "It's never too early to start. Introducing them early is going to reduce them of having that fear of the water."

Swim Instructor Brianne Dodd says many people have a misconception of what a drowning person looks like.

"A lot of people believe you're going to see the drowning and you're going to hear it," said Dodd. "That's not always the case sometimes they're passive drowning meaning they just slip under the water, they get tired or lose consciousness."

The coroner's office says it will be conducting an autopsy on Hollie Lilly, to determine if she suffered some sort of medical condition while she was in the water.

Police say the family of the victims are devastated and are asking for privacy during this difficult time.


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