A mother from the Bronx is facing charges following the death of her seven-year-old daughter, who drowned in a hotel swimming pool while her mother indulged in alcohol at the hotel’s bar.
Erica Baez, 41, is currently held without bail on charges of second-degree manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child, stemming from an incident that took place on January 13, 2022.
As reported by Suffolk County prosecutors, the young victim, Katlyn, was on life support for over a year after the tragic incident before she succumbed to her injuries on May 1.
The incident occurred when Baez was residing at the Marriott Hotel in Melville with her boyfriend and two children: Katlyn and her five-month-old son. Baez’s boyfriend left for work early on the day of the tragedy. Baez requested that the hotel staff unlock the indoor swimming pool around 3:30 pm. Despite being notified that there was no lifeguard on duty and she needed to supervise her child, Baez opted to head to the hotel bar.
Prosecutors say that Baez spent around 30 minutes in the bar, eating and drinking, while her young daughter was left unattended in the swimming pool. Baez briefly checked on her daughter before leaving her again to look after her son, who was also left alone in their hotel room.
Upon returning to the pool after consuming a second cocktail, Baez discovered her daughter unresponsive in the water. The prosecutors revealed that Baez didn’t immediately react, instead taking her time to remove her footwear and secure her phone before attending to Katlyn.
Baez allegedly lied to the responding emergency medical team, claiming she had left her daughter unsupervised for a mere five minutes, as per the DA’s office. Although the medical team managed to revive Katlyn, she suffered permanent brain damage due to oxygen deprivation. She lived the remaining months of her life dependent on a ventilator and feeding tube before her untimely demise.