US mum arrested for manslaughter after seven-year-old drowned in pool while she drank at bar

  • 17/05/2023
The daughter died on May 1 after spending more than a year on life support.
The daughter died on May 1 after spending more than a year on life support. Photo credit: Getty Images

An American mum is facing a second-degree manslaughter charge after she allegedly left her young daughter alone at a pool while she drank at the bar, resulting in the child later dying from her injuries.

Meanwhile, the woman's five-month-old baby was allegedly left alone in the hotel room.

Erica Baez, 41, pleaded not guilty in court on Tuesday (local time) in relation to charges for the death of her daughter Katlyn Pineda who died on May 1 after spending more than a year on life support.

The horrific accident took place in January 2022 when Baez, her boyfriend, her 5-month-old son and  7-year-old daughter were staying at the Marriott Hotel in Melville, New York.

Baez asked hotel staff to open the pool gate, local media reported. The staff told her there was no lifeguard on duty, so she'd have to be present the entire time her seven-year-old was in the water.

But instead, Baez allegedly headed to the hotel bar with her boyfriend where she ate and drank an alcoholic cocktail while her daughter played alone in the pool.

Around half an hour later, Baez went to check on her daughter before heading to their hotel room to check on her five-month infant who was allegedly left in the room alone.

The mum then went back to the bar for another drink, reportedly leaving both children alone.

After another 30 minutes lapsed, Baez returned to the pool to find the girl "floating lifeless in the pool", Suffolk County District Attorney's Office alleged.

Instead of jumping straight in, allegedly Baez took time to take off her shoes and socks and put her phone aside before taking Katlyn out of the water, the New York Post reported.

When emergency services arrived, Baez claimed she had only left her daughter for five minutes.

Emergency responders managed to revive her daughter but the brain damage from oxygen deprivation was irreversible. For two months, the young girl lived on a ventilator and feeding tube, NBC New York reported. She passed away on May 1 after she became septic.

Baez was arrested on May 15 and charged with second-degree manslaughter and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. She is being held without bail.