Local News

Woman Charged After Two Children Nearly Drown

Posted June 29, 2006 8:56 a.m. EDT

— A 6-year-old boy and his 7-year-old sister were pulled from a North Raleigh pool Wednesday afternoon. Bystander Heather Heatherly called 911.

"They didn't have a heartbeat, it was crazy," said Heatherly.

While a team of good Samaritans at the Long Lake Community Pool worked to revive the children, the 18-year-old woman responsible for watching the kids was nowhere to be found.

"She left when we were working on the children," said Heatherly. "I looked up and I could not find her anywhere."

With instruction from the 911 operator, Heatherly and the others were able to save the kids. They were taken to WakeMed as a precaution.

"Anytime there's someone who is entrusted with the care of a juvenile, with that comes the responsibility," said Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue.

Raleigh police charged the young caretaker, Tahiri Mbi Tanyi, with two counts of misdemeanor child neglect. They also offered a warning to prevent future incidents.

"It doesn't take much water or much time for a child to drown," said Sughrue.

Heatherly couldn't help but fear for her own children in a similar position.

"i could not get that little girls face out of my head, saying, 'Am I going to die?'" she said.

WRAL tried to contact Tanyi, but were unable to get in touch with her.