A 2-year-old girl drowned in a backyard pool in Huntington Station yesterday, Suffolk police said.
The child, Arianna Gutierrez, was pulled from the in-ground pool at 283 Cook St. by her 18-year-old male cousin around 10:30 a.m., police said.
The toddler's mother was not home at the time of the drowning, said Susan Levine, a relative. It was the mother's first day at a new job, Levine said, so Arianna was being watched by an adult aunt. Levine said Arianna and her mother were temporarily staying at the house, where the mother's sister lives.
"My nephew D.J. is devastated," Levine said. "We are devastated in this household. Nothing worse can happen in the world than to lose a child.
"Everyone is asking themselves what if," she said. "Every one of us is feeling responsible in some way."
The child was watching TV in a room with her aunt when the aunt left the room, police said.
The cousin, D.J., had apparently awakened from a nap when he went to a sliding-glass door in the back of the house and found it open, said Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commanding officer of the Suffolk Police Homicide Squad.
"He goes out on the deck," Fitzpatrick said. "He sees the little girl Arianna at the bottom of the pool. He jumps in the pool and pulls her out."
Emergency responders administered CPR and the child was taken to Huntington Hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly before noon, police said.
Investigators contacted town officials and determined the house had been in violation of code for failing to have alarms on the sliding door leading to the pool, Fitzpatrick said.
"There was no alarm on that sliding door," he said.
Neighbor Goker Celik, who was outside playing with his 18-month-old son Efe yesterday afternoon, said he has a pool at his second home in Turkey and is extra vigilant when children are around it. "Some things are going to happen even if you watch them," Celik said, kissing a blister on Efe's left hand. "He burned his hand . . . in the oven. Just one second in the dining room, he run away. Even just one second."