METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - A 5-year-old girl drowned Wednesday in the pool of a vacant house in Metairie, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.
The drowning occurred at a home in the 4500 block of Jeannette Drive. The girl, identified by the Jefferson Parish coroner as Renee Thompson, was pronounced at the hospital.
A JPSO spokesman said Renee and her 7-year-old sister had been playing in the backyard of a neighboring home when Renee went missing, Fortunato said. The older girl looked over the fence and saw Renee floating in the pool. The family said she tried to rescue her, but couldn't.
Renee's mother and uncle told investigators that the gate to the vacant property had been broken for about two weeks.
"She went to the pool," said Renee's mother, Monique Millet. "It's their fault. The gate was broken [and] they knew they had a 5-year-old over there."
JP Coroner Dr. Gerry Civitanovich said for every child who drowns, five are rescued but often sustain brain damage. He urges everyone to watch their kids closely, teach them to swim and secure pools.
"Our kids are barely out of school. This is the second drowning in two weeks," Cvitanovich said. "It's devastating."