Girl, 8, dies after being 'violently sucked' into hotel swimming pool pipes

By John Mercury March 26, 2024

An eight-year-old girl died after being “violently sucked” into piping at a hotel swimming pool, her family has said.

Aliyah Jaico had been enjoying a dip with her family at the DoubleTree hotel in Houston, Texas, when the tragedy happened on Saturday 23 March.

Lawyers representing the family said she was in the “lazy river style” pool when she was “violently sucked into a 12 to 16-inch unsecured gap in the swimming pool flow system”.

Her body was later found around 6m (20ft) deep inside the piping.

The family is suing the hotel for more than $1m (£790,000) in damages. Police are also investigating.

The lawsuit said Aliyah’s mother Daniela Jaico raised the alarm after quickly realising her daughter was missing at around 4.50pm.

Following a frantic search she asked hotel staff to look at CCTV footage, but management “denied her request and explained that police would have to be present to view the video surveillance,” it is alleged.

Ms Jaico called police and officers examined the CCTV after arriving at the scene. The footage revealed the eight-year-old had gone under the water and never resurfaced.

The pool was drained and her body was found “wedged in the pipes of malfunctioning pool equipment” at 11.30pm.

Lawyers representing the family described it as a “senseless tragedy”.

In a tribute posted online, Ms Jaico said she was struggling to deal with her loss.

She added: “I hope to see you again one day and you’ll keep looking at me and you’ll get that big smile that was contagious with joy. You gave yourself to love always with your heart so noble.

“I will love you for all eternity. You are the most beautiful thing god has given me and after every battle we went through together we didn’t win this one. Rest in peace my beautiful Wera. Forever you”.

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The family’s wrongful death lawsuit names Unique Crown Hospitality LLC and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.

A Hilton spokesperson told Sky News: “Hilton offers our sincere condolences to the family and loved ones in the tragic loss of a young girl at the DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Brookhollow.

“This property is independently owned and operated by a third party. Hilton does not own, manage, or control the day-to-day operations of the property and does not employ any of the property’s staff or its third-party operators.”

They added: “We understand that the property is cooperating fully with all authorities investigating the incident.”

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Houston Police said detectives were “awaiting autopsy results in the apparent drowning of a child”.

A spokesperson added: “The investigation is continuing.”

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