Five-Year-Old Drowns in Van Buren

A five-year-old girl died Wednesday afternoon (July 3) after drowning in a backyard swimming pool, according to Crawford County Sheriff Ron Brown.

The victim was identified by Sheriff Brown as Alexandria Giles of Fayetteville.

Giles was visiting a home on Oak Grove Road in Van Buren with her 17-year-old brother and his 16-year-old girlfriend. The home belongs to the girlfriend’s grandmother, Regenia Daugherty.

Daughtery says she was at a doctor’s appointment when the kids showed up at her home to swim in her pool.

“I did not know they were coming,” said Daugherty. “When I got back, they were all in the pool in the shallow end playing with the little girl.”

Daugherty says the girl, who goes by Alex, was wearing a flotation device when she saw her. Daugherty says she left the three minors home and went to another appointment.

Authorities say the teens said they were talking on the patio when they noticed they could no longer see the child.  When they went to search for her they told investigators they found her lifeless in the pool.

The teens called 911 and Giles was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.  Sheriff Brown said the death is being investigated as an accidental drowning, but that Giles’ body has been sent to the state crime lab for an autopsy.

Daugherty said in all the years she’s lived in her home, there’s never been an accident in her pool.

Once results from the autopsy are released Sheriff Brown said the case will be turned over to prosecutors to determine whether or not charges will be filed.

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