Those who knew her expected big things for Heather Domino, an aspiring musician and DJ who, police said, died in an apparent drowning Tuesday night in a neighbor's Southold pool
Domino, 23, the daughter of Southold Town trustee Michael Domino, operated a recording studio in Greenport, was a songwriter, played guitar and bass, and had dreams of a career in music, her mother, Joy, said Wednesday.
"She knew she wanted to be a recording artist when she was 10," Joy Domino said. "She wrote lyrics, very deep lyrics."
Police said Heather Domino was discovered about 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, unconscious in a swimming pool at an Old North Road home, close to where she lived with her parents.
Southold firefighters and Southold Town police responded to the scene and attempted to resuscitate Domino before she was taken to Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport, where she was pronounced dead. Police had no more details on the circumstances surrounding Heather Domino's death. An autopsy has been scheduled and the investigation is ongoing, police said.
Joy Domino said she and her husband took custody of Heather when she was 2 months old. It was supposed to be just a temporary arrangement, Joy Domino said.
But plans changed.
"As soon as I held her, I knew that I would never let her go," she said, fighting back tears outside her Southold home Wednesday morning. "She was a wonderful girl."
Heather Domino studied at the Recording Engineers Institute in Islandia and opened her studio in Greenport with the help of her parents three years ago. She recorded her own music as well as songs of other artists, her mother said.
Just last week, she had DJ'd a fundraiser for her father, charming the crowd with a vast selection of songs from the '50s, '60s, and '70s, Joy Domino said.
Scott Russell, Southold Town supervisor and a family friend, said he was impressed by the DJ's work after he toured her studio.
"In Southold, that wouldn't be the first industry that would come to your mind," he said. "She was bold and innovative and very creative. She was going to be a resounding success."
Her MySpace page, which she titled "DJ Maestro," showed her varied interests. She posted music clips of Lady Gaga as well as some of her favorite DJ mixes.
At the bottom of her page she lists "The Great Gatsby" and Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time," among her literary favorites.
Her brother, Mike Domino, 45, said his younger sister was adventurous, always game for dirt biking with her nephews.
"She was always full of energy," he said. "She talked about doing a lot of things."