Wednesday, November 29, 2000

Charges unlikely in hotel drowning

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SHARONVILLE — The apparent drowning of a 5-year-old boy in a hotel swimming pool remains under investigation, but officials on Tuesday said the death appeared accidental and charges were unlikely.

        Matthew Allender of Whittier, Calif., was pronounced dead at Mercy Hospital Fairfield on Monday after being found in the indoor pool of the Preston Hotel in the 2200 block of Sharon Road.

        On Tuesday, Sharonville Police Lt. Dan Ingram said, “We don't anticipate any charges at this point,” but he cautioned that the death remained under investigation and prosecutors probably would review the case.

        The detective handling the investigation, Aaron Blasky, said he had interviewed 15 to 20 people as of late Tuesday afternoon. But so far, none has been able to say how Matthew ended up in the pool.

        Detective Blasky said his contact with the boy's adoptive mother was limited because she had been so upset.

        The boy, whom police described as a “special needs/Down syndrome child,” had become separated from his group at the hotel.

        Matthew's mother searched frantically and found him in the pool after he had been missing about 15 minutes, police said. Rescue crews' efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

        The boy was last seen in a play area near the pool, Detective Blasky said.

        Matthew had traveled to Ohio to visit relatives with his mother, two other children, his mother's adult niece and her two children, Detective Blasky said.


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