It was the worst day of my life. This day changed my life forever. It is ingrained in my memory like cement. That night has replayed in my mind over and over again without ceasing. It’s like a never ending tragic movie that just doesn’t seem real- yet it is very real. After receiving the phone call that he was missing, I was driving as fast as I could with my heart beating out of my chest. I already knew what happened. In the depths of my heart, I expected the worst. As we turned down the street, it was like the scene out of a movie. Fire trucks, police cars, and crowds of rescuers and neighbors were gathered around the house, searching, confused and panicked. My heart sank and chills ran up my spine. So many cars were there, we had to park down the street. As we frantically walked/ran up to the house, she was just sitting in the garage smoking cigarettes and looking at her phone. She was pretending to hyperventilate. I could hardly look at her. The rage that built up inside of me was like nothing I had ever felt before in my life. WHERE IS HE?? WHY ARE YOU JUST SITTING THERE?!
The policeman met us in the back yard. I will never forget his words, “He’s in the back yard. There is no other place he could be. She said this (pointing to the side garage door) is the only door he could have gotten out of. We had to forcefully open the gate to the yard. He couldn’t have gotten out of the gate.” I looked around the yard at the tall white fence, knowing it was impossible for him to have climbed over. My eyes welled up with tears as I then looked over at the in-ground pool and saw the rescue team in their clothes going under the water, and back up again. Taking huge breaths as they dove down into the depths of that disgusting, murky water looking for him while waiting for the dive team to arrive. Those standing around the pool were sweeping the bottom with those long pool poles with the net at the end. Back and forth.
I ran to the deck and laid flat on the ground to look under it. Please, Lord, let him be hiding under here. Nothing. Back through the garage to the inside of the house, as she just continued to sit there. The first room to my right was the laundry room. It was completely ransacked, but I looked under all the clothes anyway. I hesitantly opened the dryer, praying that I wouldn’t find him. I knew in my soul that I did not want to be the one to find him because I knew wherever he was, that he was not alive. It had been too long and he was too young. The room to my left was the dining room. It was piled high with boxes, clothes, and junk. How will we ever find him in here??
As we walked through the kitchen and living room, then down the hallway to the stairway and up the stairs, I couldn’t even tell you what I was thinking. When you are in complete panic mode with adrenaline rushing, your thoughts cannot be captured. The only thing I was thinking was that this could not be real. This can not be happening. I warned her! I told her a month ago not to let him out of her sight! I told her to make sure her doors were locked! I even told her to put extra alarms on her doors so she would know if he opened them! I told her she had to have a fence around her pool. And she refused.
On our way to the upper floor, we asked her to grab his favorite blanket to give to the search team so they could have the dogs sniff him out. However, the dog they brought in was not a sniff and search dog. This dog was trained for water rescue. I’d never heard of such a thing in my life; I didn’t even know this existed.
We searched through the upstairs, in every closet, nook, and cranny, and still…nothing. As we neared her bedroom, the door was locked. Why is her door locked? A member of the rescue team was trying to get into her bedroom. As she climbed the stairs with the key, still pretending to hyperventilate, she said to the man, “They already looked in there!” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Don’t you think we should LOOK AGAIN?! What kind of person keeps her door lock when her child is missing? At this point, this woman is the most vile, disgusting excuse for a human being I’ve ever come across in my entire life. This woman does not deserve to live after what she’s done.
As defeat began to set in after 45 minutes of searching, we headed back outside. Turning around the corner of the garage out of the back yard to the front yard, the very kind police officer followed us. He gently stopped us, and said, “You cannot go to the back yard. They found his body.” If I remember correctly, I told the police officer to shut up. I fell to my knees and cried. I didn’t only cry, I wept. Two of my coworkers were there and we held each other and cried.
I heard a scream come from the garage. She knew he was in there. Why is she screaming? She wasn’t even wet. She didn’t even jump into the pool to find him. He was only 2.
I called my boss. All I said through my sobbing was, “They found him in the pool.” Complete silence. She didn’t say a word. I said, “THEY FOUND HIM IN THE POOL!” Still….silence. I hung up. After feeling like I was sucked into a whirlwind and spit back out, the police investigator came to get our names and date of birth. They asked us for any information we could give them regarding the baby. We provided his date of birth and social security number, as well as biological parents’ names. I could not describe how nice and empathetic those police officers were that night. They, too, understand that we are underpaid, overworked, and there just aren’t enough of us to go around. They also understand how we deal with criminals and people who seem to have no morals or regard for other human beings- such as the woman who was supposed to be caring for this child.
I was there for at least 3 hours after they found his body only to see his little frame being wheeled to the Coroner’s van under a white sheet. I turned my head as fast as I could. I thought his body was gone. He was pronounced dead on the scene. CPR was not even performed. His little body was found at the very bottom of the deep end of the pool. Who knows how long he’d been in there. An autopsy was performed the next morning. Hopefully that will give us some answers. Especially since her stories were not adding up….
The autopsy revealed he had been in the water 2-4 hours. Poor baby did not deserve this.
The only comfort that I have is knowing that he is in Heaven with Jesus. He is healed, whole, and rejoicing with the angels. He is sitting on Jesus’ lap and receiving the pure, unconditional, love that he deserves. And I have no doubt about this.
The images of that day will haunt me for the rest of my life. I can only pray for justice now, and if justice is not served on this earth, I know that God is the ultimate judge and will avenge. I did everything I could, my little angel baby, and you will never be forgotten.