STRONGSVILLE, Ohio (WOIO) - The Strongsville Police Department is investigating after a missing 3-year-old girl died after officers found her in a pool.
Police said officers responded to a report of a 3-year-old child running up and down the street in the area of Pearl Road and Cook Avenue at 12:54 p.m. on Thursday.
According to the report, all available police employees searched the area.
The report stated officers spoke with the girl’s older brother in the 18000 block of Cook Avenue where they learned the mother went to McDonald’s to make a phone call while the girl was sleeping.
The brother told police she possibly got out of the window, according to the report.
The report said police checked McDonald’s, the woods behind McDonald’s, Rite Aid by the sidewalk where she was later spotted, up and down Cook Avenue to Royalton Road, and inside the Cook Avenue home again.
During the search, police said a neighbor advised officers that she can climb fences.
19 News spoke with a witness who first noticed the little girl wandering around near the McDonald’s at Pearl and Cook Avenue wearing nothing but a onesie and diaper.
“I tried to speak with her to get her off the road, which she did, she got off and then ran to a house which I thought was her house down the street,” the witness said.
Police said the child was found in a 4.5-foot deep pool behind Cook Avenue at 1:23 p.m.
Officers began life saving measures and called Strongsville paramedics over, according to police.
When they got to the scene, paramedics began treatment and transported the child to Southwest General Hospital, according to police.
According to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s website, the girl died at Southwest General Hospital.
The witness is heartbroken for the little girl and her family and heartbroken she could not do more to help, “The only person saying I should have done more was myself because I do believe, maybe, I should have chased her,” she said, “I don’t know, I just think I would have scared her more.”
Strongsville Police said the incident remains under investigation.
No further details are being released at this time.
Return to 19 News for updates.