Authorities in New Jersey are continuing to investigate the deaths of three family members found dead in their residential pool on Monday afternoon.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, an 8-year-old girl, her 32-year-old mother, and the girl’s 62-year-old grandfather died on Monday after a neighbor called 911 to report hearing screams from the East Brunswick home. Police responded to find the three family members unresponsive in an above-ground pool. The emergency responders performed lifesaving measures at the scene, but all three were pronounced dead.
Witnesses told local news reporters at the scene that an electrician’s van was seen in the driveway of the home after the tragedy, prompting speculation that the victims, who had only moved into the home a month ago and recently finished getting the pool ready for the season, may have been electrocuted.
But East Brunswick police and Middlesex County prosecutors said that electricity did not play a role in the deaths, as CrimeOnline previously reported. Authorities said it appears more likely the family members drowned because they did not know how to swim, and the adults may have gone into the pool to rescue the little girl, who reportedly ended up in the deeper end of the pool on Monday afternoon. According to multiple reports, the shallower section of the above-ground pool is about 4 feet deep.
According to WABC, authorities identified the adult victims as Nisha Patel, the girl’s mother, and Bharat Patel, Nisha’s father-in-law. The New York Post reports that neighbors identified the 8-year-old girl as Sacchi Patel.
Sources told the New York Post that the girl jumped into an area of the pool that was 6 or 7 feet deep, and an aunt cried out for help, prompting the girl’s grandfather to jump in the pool to try and save her. He reportedly struggled in the water, and the girl’s mother followed him into the pool, but she too couldn’t swim, the sources said. She reportedly drowned while attempting to save both her daughter and father-in-law.
According to NBC New York, the aunt also made it into the pool, but at that point the girl could not be saved. A neighbor who had previously spoken with Sacchi Patel said the family had just finished readying the pool, and Monday may have been the the first time family used it.
A medical examiner reportedly determined that all three relatives died of accidental drowning. According to WABC, authorities are continuing to investigate the tragic deaths and have asked anyone with information to contact county prosecutors or East Brunswick police.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode: