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Old June 1st, 2007, 08:41 AM  
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Default Toddlers Drown While Babysitter Naps

Toddlers Drown While Babysitter Naps

WATERFORD, Pa. (June 1) - Two toddlers who wandered away from home while their teenage baby sitter slept accidentally drowned in a nearby pond, officials said.

The baby sitter told state police she put the girls down for a nap Wednesday and that she also napped. When she awoke, 20-month-old Jenna Walker and 2-year-old Maggie Kovski were missing from the house, Cpl. Mark Zaleski said.

Rescuers were called after the sitter found the girls floating in a small fishing pond about 100 yards from the home. Emergency worker Chris Barber said the teen was frantically trying to help the children when the rescuers arrived.

"She was performing CPR, and when I got there, I started CPR on the youngest one," Barber said. "They had no pulse. They were not breathing."

Authorities did not identify the 18-year-old sitter. She was a relative of Jenna and lived in the house in this rural town in Pennsylvania's northwestern corner, 15 miles south of Erie. Maggie was a neighbor.

A woman who answered the phone at the Walker home said the family did not want to talk about the deaths. The Associated Press could not locate a telephone number for Maggie's family.

Investigators said Thursday they believe they know how the girls got out of the house, got to the pond and other details. District Attorney Brad Foulk declined to discuss those details because he wanted to protect the family's privacy and because authorities planned to conduct more interviews.

Coroner Lyell Cook determined that the girls drowned and ruled the deaths accidental.

The ruling would not preclude criminal charges if investigators determined the baby sitter was negligent or reckless, Cook said.

How long the baby sitter was asleep "is going to be pretty important in this particular case," Foulk said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

2007-05-31 20:54:17

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