MCSO: Girl who drowned at Saguaro Lake didn't know how to swim


by The Associated Press and

Video report by Erika Flores

Posted on April 20, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 22 at 2:05 PM

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MESA, Ariz. -- The body of a 10-year-old Phoenix girl was recovered from Saguaro Lake Sunday afternoon.

The girl and her two cousins, ages 12 and 16, fell off their inflatable inner tube and were in the water near Butcher Jones Beach, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Deputy Joaquin Enriquez said the 10-year-old was hanging on to the black plastic handle of the inner tube when she lost her grip and the tube flipped over, tossing the girls into the water. The inner tube floated away.

The two older girls were rescued by a good Samaritan and a family member who heard the girls screaming for help, according to Enriquez. The 10-year-old did not resurface.

Witnesses said they heard the girl's father shouting that his daughter was missing and several people began to search for her.

A sheriff's helicopter flew overhead but did not spot her.

Dive teams were called to the lake and found the body in 6 feet of water not far from where the girls fell into the water.

Enriquez said the victim and her 12-year-old cousin did not know how to swim. The 16-year-old said she could swim pretty well in shallow water. They were uninjured.

The victim was at Butcher Jones Beach with her parents, brothers and numerous extended family members who had traveled from South Phoenix.

The sheriff's office is not releasing the victim's name.