The Oklahoma City Police Department says an investigation is ‘still open’ after two 18-month-old twins (siblings) drowned in a family pool last week. Their mother, Jenny Callazzo, found her twin toddlers – son Locklyn and daughter Loreli – in the pool on March 16. They were allegedly in the pool for about 10 minutes.
Oklahoma City Fire battalion chief Scott Douglas explained that the mother was homeschooling an older sibling when the toddler’s grandmother left the back door open. When first responders arrived, the twins didn’t have a heartbeat or pulse and were pronounced dead after being rushed to a nearby hospital.
“The mother explained she was homeschooling an older child while the younger children were playing in the living room. The grandmother left the back door open, leaving an exit to the swimming pool. The mother stated the longest they could have been in the swimming pool was ten minutes,” Douglas said.
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“This is just absolutely killing Jenny right now,” their godmother, Dawn Lemons, told People. “This is a tragic accident. It’s just the worst thing. You want to comfort so badly. But there’s nothing you can say. It’s just — it’s horrendous.” Lemons continued, saying the twins loved doing everything together.
According to the investigation, the pool the kids were found in didn’t have a fence or surrounding wall to keep the toddlers out – giving them direct access once they made their way through the back door. The fire and police departments aren’t sure if there was an alarm to alert the family that the door was left open.
They’re using this tragedy as a steady reminder to anyone with a pool in their backyard to make sure it’s surrounded by at least a 4-foot fence accompanied by a self-closing gate. Not only will this protect your children from drowning when left unattended, but it’ll protect others who may find their way into your yard.
Unfortunately, tragedies such as the one explained above are far too common in the United States today. The CDC proclaims that drowning is the No. 1 leading cause of accidental death in toddlers between the ages of 1 and 4. While fences and gates won’t guarantee anything, they will prevent drowning in most cases.
To put this tragedy into perspective, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there are nearly “379 reported pool-or-spa related fatal drownings involving children younger than 15 years old each year” with children under the age of 5 accounting for nearly 75% of those drownings.
Twins Are Being Remembered as Inseparable
In an interview with TODAY, the twins’ godmother – Dawn Lemon – talked about how inseparable Locklyn and Loreli were in their short time together. She explained how they never wanted to sit in separate chairs and were always sleeping by one another’s side. “You never saw one without the other,” Lemon said.
She said Locklyn loved to play the harmonica and was always drawn to music, while Loreli loved to dance and had an electric personality. They also liked to play hide-and-seek and would always choose the curtains as their hiding spot – they didn’t know that everyone could see their feet underneath the curtains.
“They were the sweetest babies. They liked to play hide and seek behind the drapes. They’d yell out, ‘Where are we!?’ and their little toes would be peeking out. They didn’t realize we could see their feet,” Dawn said – adding that the twins were ‘never apart – ever.’
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If you have a pool in your backyard – even if you don’t have children – this is your chance to potentially save an innocent life. Make sure you have a fence and security gate installed. It’ll not only prevent drowning in toddlers and children, but it will prevent any responsibility and liability on your part.
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