Daytona Beach Shores cops: Mom to be charged with neglect in near-drowning in hotel hot tub of child left unattended

By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

 DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla -- The near-drowning of a 3-year-old boy in a hot tub Sunday night at Perry’s Ocean Edge Resort, 2209 South Atlantic Ave., is expected to result in criminal charges of neglect, Daytona Beach Shores cops said.

Apryl Connolly, 36, of Deltona, is expected to be booked on the felony charges and transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail, according to Daytona Beach Shores Police Capt. Mike Fowler.

Here is a synopsis of what what occurred as relayed to Headline Surfer in an email breaking news alert by Fowler: "Officers were dispatched to Perry’s Ocean Edge Resort located at 2209 South Atlantic Avenue last night after resort staff pulled an unresponsive three-year-old boy from the hot tub." 

Fowler said an investigation into the incident revealed that 3-year-old twin boys were in the hot tub with their mother, Apryl Connolly, 36, of Deltona, and the children’s father. As the pool was closing, the father left the children in the care of Connolly while he gathered the family’s belongings, the Daytona Beach Shores cop said. 

Daytona Beach Shores Police Capt Mike Fowler / Headline SurferHere is a synopsis of what what occurred as relayed to Headline Surfer in an email breaking news alert by Daytona Beach Shores Capt Michael Fowler: "Officers were dispatched to Perry’s Ocean Edge Resort located at 2209 South Atlantic Avenue last night after resort staff pulled an unresponsive three-year-old boy from the hot tub." 

Fowler said an investigation into the incident revealed that 3-year-old twin boys were in the hot tub with their mother, Apryl Connolly, 36, of Deltona, and the children’s father. As the pool was closing, the father left the children in the care of Connolly while he gathered the family’s belongings, the Daytona Beach Shores cop said. 

Alert hotel clerk sees twins return to hot tub unattended on video surveillance screen

Shortly thereafter, the desk clerk, Wanda Van Blarrume, who was watching the surveillance video from the lobby, saw the twins return to the hot tub where they were standing on an interior seat, Fowler said.

"One of the boys then stepped into the middle of the hot tub and went under the water," Fowler continued. "Ms. Van Blarrume soon believed the boy may be drowning."

Van Blumme then radioed another staff member, Michael Johnson, and told him what she had seen, Fowler said. When Johnson arrived at the pool area, he saw the victim’s twin brother near the edge, but the victim could not be seen. Johnson was informed by a guest on the second floor, Brittany Fishel, that she too had seen a child floating in the hot tub.

"Johnson turned off the jets and could then see the submerged child," Fowler said. "He jumped into the hot tub and pulled out the boy who was not breathing and had no pulse. Mr. Johnson and the boy’s father began CPR until Ms. Fishel arrived. She continued resuscitative efforts until the child began to breathe on his own." 

The little boy child was transported to Halifax Medical Center, but due to the severity of his condition, was he was subsequently transported to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Orlando. No information was released on his condition.

Illicit drugs may have played a part in children being left alone

When officers reviewed the video surveillance footage, they noted that while Connolly’s child was being resuscitated, she went to her purse and threw something in the garbage, Fowler said.

 "Officers recovered a pill from the garbage can which Connolly admitted to disposing of during the emergency," Fowler said. "Connolly further admitted to consuming alcohol, marijuana, oxycodone, and Suboxone prior to the incident." 

In addition to neglect, Connolly is expected to be charged with destruction of evidence, also a felony. 

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.