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Babysitter arrested after 1-year-old nearly drowns in bathtub in El Mirage

Police say a 1-year-old boy nearly drowned in El Mirage Thursday night after a babysitter left two children alone in the bathtub with the water running.
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 10:23 PM MST|Updated: Jun. 17, 2022 at 4:35 PM MST
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EL MIRAGE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Police say a 1-year-old boy nearly drowned in El Mirage Thursday night after a babysitter left two children alone in the bathtub with the water running. The babysitter, 49-year-old Cynthia Gaddy, is accused of child neglect. It happened at a home near 127th Avenue and Thunderbird Road after 8:30 p.m.

Police say Gaddy was bathing a 1-year-old boy and 3-year-old and left the bathroom to “attend to a smelly diaper nearby.” While she was away, Gaddy told police she heard a timer go off in the kitchen for some baked goods she was making. Gaddy said moments later, she went back to the bathroom and found the tub overflowing with water spilling into the master bedroom. Officers say the boy was found face down in the water. Police say Gaddy tried to help the baby while calling 911. First responders arrived and resuscitated the baby on the way to the hospital. The boy was then flown to a different hospital and is in extremely critical condition. Police confirmed late Thursday night that Gaddy is in custody for child neglect.

“I’m just thankful my daughter wasn’t there when this happened,” said Arturo Munoz. He said Gaddy babysat his kids several times over the last three weeks. Munoz says he connected with Gaddy through a Facebook group.

“I would never bad mouth her. She was a very nice lady, good woman, honest, her house was clean,” Munoz said. “A couple of those kids I knew practically lived there. Every time I showed up, they were there in the morning, night. I think a lot of those kids consider her their grandma because they’ve known her so long. She says some of those kids have been with her since they were one or two.”

Arizona’s Family news chopper was over the scene and saw several police cars lined up along the house. A group of people was standing outside talking to officers. Gaddy was watching two other kids, ages 3 and 7, who are siblings of the 1-year-old, police said. Police say the other children are OK. The investigation is ongoing.