3-Year-Old Girl with Autism Dies After Being Found in Pool: 'I Tried Everything,' Mom Says
A 3-year-old girl from Ohio has died after being found in a neighbor’s pool on Thursday.
Police first received a call about a child running around in Strongsville, Ohio, around 1 p.m., according to WKYC.
After about 30 minutes of searching, police found the girl, who has been identified as Aria Kalinich, in a neighbor’s backyard pool, according to Fox 8 News, which also reported that Aria was pronounced dead at Southwest General Health Center.
Police believe Aria slipped away from home while her mother was away at a nearby McDonald’s, according to Fox 8 News.
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Aria’s mother, Jessica Baksi, said her daughter, who is non-communicative, had a history of running away.
“Kids will run away, they will try to sneak off and put themselves in dangerous situations and for the memory of my daughter I do want to make awareness of that,” she told WKYC, adding that her daughter had previously climbed out of windows.
“We put bars, we put locks, we put safety measures which is very important but as you know some kids with autism have very high IQs and they know how to figure out things when they have time, so she figured it out and she left,” Baksi said.
According to the CDC, wandering, which can also be called elopement, can affect children with autism as they “have challenges understanding safety issues and communicating with others.”
Baksi went on to tell Fox 8 News that she had recently seen a doctor in order to figure out a solution to keep her daughter from running away.
“We are heartbroken and we are still in shock,” she said. “I was trying to do everything I could to prevent this from happening again and now just like that she’s gone,” she said.
The case is still under investigation according to the outlet.
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