National News

Family seeking justice after daughter drowns in hotel pool

Posted March 14, 2018 1:38 p.m. EDT

— A Denver family is seeking justice after their 9-year-old daughter drowned when she was left alone in a hotel swimming pool.

Yavaeh Patrick was staying at Hotel Elegante in Colorado Springs on Dec. 16 while at a slumber party with a friend and her friend's grandmother.

According to a police report, the grandmother let the two girls go to the pool alone, even though Yavaeh couldn't swim.

"I can't imagine letting kids go to a pool alone, period, especially in a large hotel with strangers walking around," said Chevon Patrick, the girl's mother.

Yavaeh got in the water, began to struggle and disappeared.

She wasn't pulled from the water until more than 10 minutes later by a hotel manager, even though there were several other people in the pool area.

"I feel like a lot of people let her down in that moment. And it just breaks my heart to even think she went through all of that alone and no one bothered to help her," Patrick said.

The family's attorney said the grandmother will be charged with child abuse resulting in death. The Fourth Judicial District Attorney's Office has not confirmed that.

However, the family's attorney said the blame doesn't lie solely with the grandmother.

"I think one of the biggest concerns was that the hotel reacted with a serious lack of urgency," Meredith Quinlivan said.

Witnesses told police the hotel initially refused to call 911.

In the police report, one of them, Kim Cordova said, "The clerk just stood there and stared to the point. I had to start shouting at her and she still refused to call saying, no I'm sure they got it under control."

Witnesses also say there was not an automated external defibrillator nearby.

"It's just hard to describe. It's just unreal, like we're in a dream," said Boyde Patrick, the victim's grandfather.

The family said they want to make sure someone is held accountable so no one else loses their child in a similar way.

"I don't want any other parent to have to go through this," Patrick said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.