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Monroeville girl, 7, drowns in neighbor's pool

Cary Ashby • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:15 PM

MONROEVILLE - Police are attempting to determine a more exact timeline between the disappearance and drowning of a 7-year-old Monroeville girl Saturday.

Huron County Deputy Coroner Dr. Glenn Trippe pronounced Raeann E. Linn, of 85 Baker St., dead at 12:05 p.m. after a firefighter found her floating in a neighbor's swimming pool. About an hour and 10 minutes earlier, police said the girl's mother, Kelly Burrows, called saying she couldn't find her daughter.

"The (deputy) coroner believes she was in the water for quite some time," Monroeville Police Chief Mike Ruggles said Sunday.

Trippe is out of town and couldn't be reached for comment. A number listed for Burrows was disconnected or no longer in service as of this morning.

Officer Wallace Johnson's investigation initially has determined Burrows took some cold medication about 8:30 a.m. and in her words, "dozed on and off" on the couch. Before calling the police, Burrows looked for her daughter, but was unable to find her.

"One of the other children said she (Raeann) had gone outside. This is when she (Burrows) called Monroeville PD," Ruggles wrote. "It appears Raeann crawled over the fence to gain access to the pool (at 89 Baker St.), as the gates were secure. The pool is surrounded by the house and a deck all with fencing."

Ruggles said one gate was secured with a lock and the other with a bunjee cord. He explained there is a "slot" in the fence where the girl probably climbed.

"The firefighters had to (climb it) as well when they found her," Ruggles added. "A 7-year-old child wouldn't have been able to open the gate."

Johnson responded to Burrows' home at 11 a.m. Three minutes later, he requested the assistance of the Huron River Joint Fire District. Off-duty police officers also responded.

At 11:18 a.m., firefighter Tom Smith found the missing girl floating in a pool and retrieved her. Ruggles said firefighters, North Central EMS workers and one of the pool owners, who is a nurse, performed CPR until the girl was transported to Fisher-Titus Medical Center at 11:32 a.m.

Police still have to talk to Burrows as part of their investigation. Ruggles said the mother was distraught and "surrounded by family members" at the hospital Saturday, so that wasn't a good time to interview her.

"We don't have any reason to believe anything (illegal or suspicious) happened, but we still need to speak to her," he said. "She's the last one to see her (daughter) alive."

Ruggles said the pool owners took all the necessary precautions. He mentioned that if they had built a 15-foot fence or wall, somebody could have climbed it if they were determined to reach the pool.

Police also want to know if it was common for the girl, who is autistic, to go to the neighbor's pool.

"Unfortunately, nobody saw her do it," Ruggles said about Raeann climbing the fence. "The lady who owns the pool was even home."

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