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Pair Face Inquiry After Son Drowns

Couple in Santa Ana are being investigated for possible negligence after their 19-month-old is found in a debris-filled backyard pool.

November 12, 2003|David Haldane | Times Staff Writer

A Santa Ana couple are being investigated for possible negligence after their 19-month-old son drowned Tuesday in an unkempt backyard swimming pool while they were apparently arguing in the garage.

They found the toddler, Arturo Anaya III, about 11 a.m. face down in two feet of trash- and debris-filled water in the 2100 block of North Laird Street.

"Our family crime unit is investigating to determine whether the child's death was the result of criminal negligence by family members or whether it was an accident," said Santa Ana Police Sgt. Baltazar De La Riva.

He identified the boy's father as 23-year-old Arturo Anaya but said he didn't know the name of the 26-year-old mother.

Another family member present at the time told police the parents had been arguing all morning.

They were arguing in the garage when they noticed that their son was missing.

After finding him in the pool, De La Riva said, they called paramedics.

The boy died a short time later at Garden Grove Hospital and Medical Center.

City inspectors were also called to the scene and declared the home substandard and uninhabitable, "due to the unsanitary conditions of the pool and inside the house," De La Riva said.

Family members were asked to relocate.

Two other children, ages 3 and 10, were taken from the home by O.C. Social Services and put into protective custody.

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