A 3-year-old girl was found dead in the cloudy waters of a Brooklyn Park apartment pool early Monday by authorities who went back to that spot a second time during an extensive search, police said.
The girl, identified on a missing-child poster as Corrianah Wright, had been with a few other children ranging in age from 7 to 15 at the outdoor pool at the apartment Sunday evening, said Deputy Police Chief Mark Bruley.
The children lived in a townhouse down the block from Windsor Gates Apartments, 7821 Zane Av. N., where the pool was, the chief said. Posted pool rules say that it is for use by residents only, that an adult must accompany anyone under 16 and that pool hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The posting also says that no lifeguard is on duty.
The pool has a 6-foot fence surrounding it and a gate that locks with a key. On Monday afternoon, the pool was closed, its gate chained shut.
A management representative at the property declined to comment. Police met with managers at the complex Monday afternoon.
Jason Newby, Brooklyn Park's code enforcement and public health manager, said the pool at Windsor Gates passed inspection in May and has had no problems in the past. On Monday morning, however, Newby closed the pool because, he said, the water was "still cloudy."
The pool will remain closed until "we can figure out what the issue is with the condition of the water clarity," Newby said.
Newby said the gates and perimeters were "fine" Monday morning. The fencing and gates were secured, and the lock to enter the pool area was working.
On Sunday night, police put out information in the immediate neighborhood that they were looking for Corrianah as a missing child, Bruley said.
Police said the girl's mother, Mykeisha Wright, reported that the children came back to the townhouse without the toddler between 8 and 8:30 p.m. That prompted her and others to start searching.
After a couple of hours, police were called, the deputy chief said. Law enforcement and fire personnel searched the apartment complex, the grounds, the pool and nearby streets. They also distributed fliers bearing Corrianah's photo.
Around 1 a.m., a member of the Fire Department went back to the pool and saw a "shadow that looked like a toy" in the deep end, Bruley said. Now suspicious that the shadow could be a body, the responder "reached down there with a pole" and confirmed his suspicions, the deputy chief added.
Bruley described the water as somewhat cloudy, "not dirty or muddy" and illuminated with underwater lights.
"You couldn't see the bottom; it was like a mirage," he said. "It was a very weird set of circumstances, to say the least. I had to go down there myself. I had to see it."
Even if the first emergency responders had detected the girl in the water at the outset of their search, Bruley said, "it wouldn't have made a difference" in her chances of surviving, given that the other children left the pool without the child roughly two hours earlier.