Family found dead in pool didn't know how to swim, officials say

Three family members, including a child, drowned in a backyard swimming pool in New Jersey Monday, law enforcement officials said.
/ Source: TODAY

The three family members in New Jersey found dead in their backyard pool apparently did not know how to swim, officials said Wednesday.

Bharat Patel, 62, his daughter-in-law Nisha Patel, 33, and her 8-year-old daughter seemed to have accidentally drowned, the Middlesex County acting prosecutor, Christopher Kuberiet said.

Originally, there had been speculation that electricity had played a part in their deaths, but that does not appear to be the case, he said.

The young girl stepped into a 6- or 7-foot part of the pool, NBC New York reported, and an aunt called for help. The grandfather, Bharat, then jumped in to help her but didn’t know how to swim, a source told NBC New York. Nisha Patel jumped in afterward but wasn’t able to swim either and drowned.

Neighbors told NBC New York the family had just moved into the home in the past month and recently fixed the pool. They speculated it might have been the first time they had used the pool.

Their deaths are still under investigation, but the medical examiner determined all three died of accidental drowning.