(CBS News) — A mother and grandfather who drowned in their backyard pool in New Jersey a week ago were trying to rescue an 8-year-old girl who had fallen in, police said. Bharat Patel, 62, his daughter-in-law Nisha Patel, 33, and her 8-year-old daughter were in the above-ground pool on the afternoon of June 22 by East Brunswick police responding to a 911 call from neighbors who heard screams.
East Brunswick Lt. Frank Sutter said the young girl had fallen into the pool, and her grandfather and mother were trying to save her when they, too, began to drown, CBS New York reported.
Middlesex County prosecutors and police said that while the above-ground pool was mostly shallow at 3 1/2 feet deep, a portion of the pool was 7 feet deep and “It doesn’t appear that the victims knew how to swim.
Real estate listings show that the pool was already installed when the Patel family purchased the home in April, NJ.com reported. Neighbors told CBS New York the family had just moved into the home about a month ago.
“It’s painful. It’s painful,” neighbor Yamini Patel told the station.
The county’s regional medical examiner determined the cause of death to be drowning and ruled the manner of death as accidental for all three victims. Police and prosecutors earlier saidin their deaths.