Questions arise over responsibility in death of 8-year-old girl found in pool pipe at Houston hotel

ByAlex Bozarjian WLS logo
Tuesday, March 26, 2024
8-year-old girl found in pool pipe at Houston hotel
Houston authorities are investigating after Texas EquuSearch found an 8-year-old girl drowned at a hotel in Northwest Houston.

HOUSTON -- An investigation is underway after an 8-year-old girl drowned at a hotel in Houston.

The child was reported missing on Saturday at about 6 p.m.

Houston Police, Houston Fire, and EquuSearch were all called to track down the girl.

Ultimately, the girl was discovered to have been pulled into a pipe underwater.

"This is one of the saddest ones we've seen in a good while," Texas EquuSearch Founder Tim Miller, said.

When Miller got the call that the girl vanished from the Double Tree Hotel in northwest Houston, he didn't know what to think. He only knew that she was last seen swimming in the pool.

"Did she wander off? Did somebody take her, or what? So, anyhow, we mobilized a lot of people. We had people actually searching outside and in different rooms and everything," Miller said.

Miller said his team and HPD reviewed security footage of the pool area. It showed the little girl went underwater but didn't resurface.

Miller said they attached cameras from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to the end of long poles and drained the pool so they could check the pipes.

"We put them poles in there almost 20 feet, and we saw her little hand and part of her body, so we got the fire department back out there," Miller said.

Miller explained there was some kind of malfunction, and the child was pulled into this opening.

He said the opening was supposed to be pushing water out, not in.

"She was wedged in there so very, very tight. I don't think she decided, 'I am going to swim in here and see what's here,'" Miller said.

Miller said the discovery was devastating for the entire search.

"Many of us had to wipe tears from our eyes," Miller said.

It took HFD and the rest of the team about 13 hours to break through and recover her body.

"I never, ever thought in a million years it was going to end up as bad as it ended up, so I don't know, there is a grieving family out there, and it is going to be a long, painful healing process over this one," Miller said.

ABC13 reporter Alex Bozarjian asked Miller if he believed somebody should be held accountable.

"I am not a lawyer by [any] means, but 100% someone needs to be held accountable," Miller said.

HPD is investigating what happened.

The hotel declined to comment but told ABC13 that the pool was temporarily closed.

An investigation is underway following the drowning of an eight-year-old girl at a hotel in Northwest Houston.