Little girl drowns in hotel pool, mother was found drinking at the bar

In a sorrowful incident that unfolded in a Marriott Hotel in Melville, a Bronx mother is facing serious legal repercussions for allegedly neglecting her children, leading to the death of her seven-year-old daughter, Suffolk County prosecutors disclosed on Tuesday.

41-year-old Erica Baez is currently being detained without bail, confronting charges of second-degree manslaughter and child endangerment. The incident in question transpired on January 13, 2022, and the tragic outcome saw her daughter, Katlyn, lose her life on May 1st after enduring over a year on life support.

Baez, her boyfriend, her infant son, and Katlyn had been lodging at the hotel. The day of the incident, Baez’s boyfriend left for work, leaving her with the children.

Baez reportedly sought the hotel staff’s assistance to open the indoor pool around 3:30 p.m., despite being informed that no lifeguard was present and the responsibility for her child’s safety fell squarely on her shoulders.

Contrary to this warning, Baez reportedly retreated to the hotel bar for a meal and an alcoholic beverage, leaving Katlyn unattended in the pool for half an hour. Prosecutors also allege that Baez left her infant son alone in the hotel room during this time.

Upon discovering her daughter unconscious in the pool, Baez allegedly prioritized removing her shoes and securing her phone before extracting the child from the water. When emergency medical services arrived, Baez is accused of misleading them about the duration Katlyn was left alone.

Efforts to resuscitate Katlyn were initially successful, but the severe oxygen deprivation resulted in irreversible brain damage, necessitating life support measures. Unfortunately, after two months on a ventilator and feeding tube, Katlyn succumbed to septic conditions on May 1st.

On May 15, Baez was apprehended and charged. Despite pleading not guilty in court on Tuesday, she faces serious charges and widespread condemnation for her actions. District Attorney Raymond Tierney expressed his commitment to ensuring justice for Katlyn, denouncing Baez’s actions as “selfish, senseless, and heartless.” Baez is expected to return to court on May 24.

The Suffolk County Legal Aid Society, representing Baez, has yet to provide any comment regarding the case.