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Police: Toddler with autism found in pool after babysitter fell asleep

Posted at 1:11 PM, Jul 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-05 20:40:01-04

Police have arrested a woman that was caring for a three-year-old boy with autism on charges of child neglect after the boy was found in a neighbor’s swimming pool.

Denise Holmes called the Port St. Lucie Police after waking up from a nap and seeing the front door to the house open, according to a police report.

Holmes told police she was watching the three-year-old because his mother was at work on June 30. She said she checked on the boy around 11:00 a.m. and saw him sleeping so she decided to nap as well.

Around 1:00 p.m. Holmes realized the door was open and could not find the boy so she called police.

The boy left home through the front door and went into the neighbor’s yard through an unlocked chain link fence/gate, the report states. He went into a shed and played with things like tools, hunting equipment, and unloaded guns.

Then, the boy left the shed and crawled through a dog door into the screened in pool area.

He threw dog food and tools into the pool, ripped off his diaper and went onto the steps of the pool.

The officers found the boy naked in the neighbor’s swimming pool on the 1800 block of SE North Blackwell Drive.

The mother told police the boy had been diagnosed with autism and is drawn to water. She said that he is unable to swim. He has left the house before and neighbors help bring him home.

Police also saw the kitchen sink and counters piled with dirty dishes, according to the report.

The officer said they believe Holmes failed to provide adequate care, supervision, and services for the boy.

Holmes was taken to the St. Lucie County jail for child neglect. She has since been released.