Jacqueline Chiara Bjorndal, 22, is being charged with Aggravated Manslaughter by Neglect of a Child after 5-year-old Aubrie Alcott drowned while in her care.
Bjorndal was originally told by Aubrie’s mother to not let her near the pool since she did not know how to swim, reports the Daily Mail. However, Bjorndal allowed her to go outside to play with a pet pig while she stayed inside reportedly smoking meth and marijuana. The Palm Bay Police are investigating the November 25 incident and said drugs and alcohol did play a factor.
“Alcohol and various drugs were involved in this incident.”
Aubrie was first discovered at the bottom of the pool by Bjorndal’s roommate, who arrived home 20 minutes after the little girl went outside. The roommate retrieved Aubrie from the pool and dialed 911.
“We got a little girl who fell in the pool, and she’s not breathing. Her lips are blue.”
The police operator walked him through CPR during the six-minute call in which the roommate states he has no idea how long Aubrie had been underwater. The call ends when paramedics arrive on the scene.
The Daily Mail reported the babysitter, Bjorndal, had attended a party the night before where she had taken drugs.
“The night before the drowning, Bjorndal had gone to a party where she was drinking and used a ‘multitude of drugs’ a police report said.”
The Palm Bay Police stated Aubrie’s mother had given Bjorndal specific instructions to not let her daughter out by the pool unattended in order to avoid a tragic accident.
“The mother knew that Aubrie couldn’t swim and she didn’t want her back by the pool.”
A judge has barred Bjorndal from watching any more children and said she cannot return to the house. Her bond was set at $50,000 and her next court appearance is scheduled for January 5.
Kathryn Aho, Aubrie’s mother, took to Facebook to share her thoughts after the passing of her daughter. She was quoted as calling Aubrie her ‘”angel” and “entire world” as she expressed her grief. A GoFundMe account has been established in Aubrie’s name and has so far raised almost $5,000.
The account, which was set up by a woman named Sara on behalf of Kathryn Aho, says Aubrie’s amazing spirit will be missed.
“Aubrie Alcott…you were taking from us way too soon. Your beautiful smile and amazing spirit will be forever missed. You are a beautiful Angel among many others now.”
Aubrie’s mother also posted a message about her little girl on the site thanking people for their thoughts and prayers. She said she was blessed to be Aubrie’s mother and asked people to look for signs of Aubrie saying she’s happy in heaven.
“My little girl touched every person she ever met and I feel blessed that God let me borrow one of his angels…”
A Facebook page dedicated to news on victimized children shared Aubrie’s tragic story and commenters are weighing in on the incident. Some are pointing blame towards Kathryn as they say she should not have trusted her daughter’s safety with someone like Bjorndal. Comments such as “know who watches your kids” and “This is y u ppl need to do back ground checks!!! I would never trust my son to anyone that I didn’t know or did a check on” prove some people are putting the blame on Aubrie’s mother as well as Bjorndal.
However, some commenters defend Kathryn saying it’s possible she didn’t know her babysitter had a drug habit.
“Has anyone thought that maybe the mother had no clue that the babysitter was a drug user? You don’t know what all of your friends or family are doing 24/7/365”
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