Local News

Report: Drowned girl's hands were tied

Posted February 9, 2016 4:50 p.m. EST

Alan Tysheen Eugene Lassiter appears in a Durham County courtroom on Sept. 25, 2015, to face a murder charge in his 3-year-old daughter's death.

— A 3-year-old Raleigh girl's hands were tied before she went into a Durham pond last fall, according to a report from a medical examiner that was released Tuesday.

Calista Lassiter died three days after being pulled from the pond, and her father, Alan Tysheen Eugene Lassiter, 29, is charged with murder in her death.

Alan Lassiter called 911 on Sept. 20 to report that his children were drowning. He told the dispatcher that he was having issues with pedophilia and had sought help from Child Protective Services, and the decision to remove his children from his care drove him to the drowning attempt.

An off-duty Durham County deputy pulled Calista and her 5-year-old sister from a pond at the Audubon Lake apartment complex in Durham. The girls' 7-year-old brother had escaped and ran for help, police said.

An investigative report completed Sept. 23 by Dr. Patricia Pittman, a medical examiner in Durham County, states Calista "was bound by the wrists and submerged in a fresh water pond."

Police found rope in Lassiter's car after the drowning, according to a search warrant.

Lassiter also is charged with two counts of attempted murder in connection with the drowning attempts on the older children.

The children's mother, Ashley Lassiter, 27, is charged with two counts of negligent child abuse resulting in serious physical injury. Authorities said she was supposed to keep her husband away from the children following allegations that he was having inappropriate sexual thoughts about children, as well as suicidal and homicidal thoughts.