A 5-year-old from Grayson was one of two young girls who lost their lives Sunday after drowning in an in-ground pool at a Vista Lakes subdivision home in Dallas.
According to Sgt. Bill Gorman of the Dallas Police Department, the victims were identified as Sophia Juarez, a resident at the Vista Lakes home, and Mia Penoyer of Grayson in Gwinnett County. Both girls were 5.
Penoyer’s grandmother, who is 58, lives in the Juarez home and serves as a housekeeper and babysitter. She was in the home Sunday afternoon and got a text message from a friend just before 1 p.m. asking her to call. She made that call after receiving the message and stayed on the phone for 45 minutes.
“Sometime during that 45-minute time span, the little girls ventured out of the house, into the backyard and into the swimming pool,” Gorman said. “We don’t know why they left or what they had in mind, [but] they were not swimming—they had already talked about swimming, they were already told no because of the rainy weather. They were both fully clothed when they were found, and no one knows how they got out of the house, when they went out of the house, any of this.”
Juarez’s parents and their 10-year-old son had gone to Hiram earlier in the day to go shopping. When they returned about 1:40 p.m., they looked for the two girls; the son soon thereafter found the girls in the pool.
The family called 911 about 1:43 p.m. and then attempted to take the girls to the hospital in a personal vehicle. First-responders arrived about three or four minutes later and met the family at the subdivision’s entrance, but were unable to revive the girls.
Gorman said the grandmother is set to be charged with reckless conduct, a misdemeanor, for not watching the girls. She was admitted to for evaluation. “As you can well imagine, she was extremely, extremely overwrought and devastated,” he said.
Authorities are withholding the grandmother’s name pending her release from the hospital.
Gorman added that the mother of one of the girls also had to be hospitalized.