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About 16% of homeowners say that outdoor lighting is the single-most important feature in a home’s front yard, according to the 2017 Houzz Landscaping Trends Study. However, exterior lighting isn’t just about aesthetics; it can also help keep homeowners, pets, and children safe, especially when there is a pool on the property.
Unfortunately, accidents happen every summer when young children accidentally fall into a home pool. However, a recent accidental drowning in Birmingham isn’t quite so simple.
On Monday, July 21, Marquavias Thweak, the two-year-old son of two Birmingham residents, was found dead in a backyard pool located within Crestwood Blvd’s 5600 block. Thweak’s family had been celebrating a wedding reception at the time of his death.
According to AL News, the celebration was relatively small with 50-70 people in attendance in comparison to the national average of 136 wedding guests. Guests said the child had been missing for approximately 45 minutes before the family called the police at 12:30 a.m.
When questioned, Thweak’s mother reported having last seen her son by the pool. The child’s father, having been in the front yard at the time, reported that he hadn’t seen his son leave the house.
According to Lt. Sean Edwards, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office searched the property and pool, which had been scented by the department’s K-9 Unit. Additionally, the pool had been scanned using infrared technology by Birmingham Fire and Rescue.
The officers emphasized on the pool search because, while drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States, Alabama has a significantly high rate of accidental drownings among children under the age of 14. Just last month, a Birmingham apartment complex was sued over the drowning of a nine-year-old girl.
According to Lt. Edwards, nothing was found in the pool, and the family became uncooperative about letting the police investigate the house. “If you have a two-year-old missing,” said Edwards to AL News, “you’re going to be 125% cooperative…most normal parents would say, ‘Everything is open’.”
AL News said the police spotted the child’s body at the bottom of the pool only after having worked for several hours to obtain a search warrant. Edwards had no comment on any potential suspects, although he did report the appearance of the child’s body in the pool as “mysterious.”
“We believe the water is really murky,” Edwards said in a report by WBRC Fox 6 News. “It’s a little dark, so we had some, I guess, some lighting challenges.” However, he added, “It’s not really a large pool.”
The body of Marquavias Thweak has been taken to a coroner for autopsy, and it will be examined for any evidence of foul play.