7-Year-Old Drowns in Pool While Mom Stops at Hotel Bar

After Katlyn Pineda was pulled from a hotel pool in Long Island, New York, she suffered “irreversible” brain damage and passed away in May 2023. Authorities have formally charged her mother, 41-year-old Erica Baez, with the little girl’s death.

Baez had been staying with her 5-month-old son and 7-year-old daughter Katlyn at the Marriott Melville hotel property. It was an afternoon when Baez left Katlyn alone at the pool while she stopped at the bar for some food and drink. Hotel staff reportedly saw Baez leaving Katlyn unsupervised and warned her of the danger, but she ignored the warnings and went upstairs to check on her son.

After returning for a second drink, Baez allegedly saw Katlyn floating lifeless in the water. Prosecutors stated that Baez showed more concern for her phone and shoes/socks than her daughter, as she removed them before attempting to rescue her.

It appears that her alleged negligent actions towards Katlyn have come back to haunt her now that she has been indicted with second-degree manslaughter and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Both charges may equate to up to 15 years of prison time.

The Suffolk County District Attorney, Raymond Tierney, strongly expressed his thoughts on the matter. He said, “The alleged actions of this defendant were selfish, senseless, and heartless. We are going to do everything we can to ensure that justice is served for little Katlyn, whose short life ended too soon.”

Erica Baez’s next court date is set for May 24.