911 Call Shows Mother Of Drowned Twins In Near Panic; Questions Arise Whether Pool Met Code
By Mike Perleberg
(Aurora, Ind.) – The grandmother of a set of twins may have fallen asleep when the children wandered off and were later found in a swimming pool.
Two-year-olds Jocelyn and Shaylyn Spurlock died Tuesday evening after they were discovered in a neighbor’s swimming pool on Elm Circle, just a couple houses away from their Dutch Hollow Road home. Investigators have said that no foul play is suspected in the girls’ deaths.
Eagle 99.3 has obtained a recording of the 911 call placed at about 6:49 p.m. Tuesday by the girls’ mother, Breanna Spurlock. The mother sounded on the edge of panic as she spoke to the dispatcher after looking everywhere in the home for her daughters.
“I left them with my mother and we come home to unload a China hutch and they’re not here…,” Spurlock said. “My mother was here and she fell asleep and they must have snuck out of the house.”
Spurlock told the dispatcher she and her husband, Brad Spurlock, had been to the store to purchase furniture. Other media reports stated that the couple had just recently moved into their home on Dutch Hollow Road.
“They had to come outside because all their little balls my daughters play with were in the hot tub… …That’s where I went and looked first,” Breanna Spurlock said.
At one lull during the call, the mother states “God, this is not happening.”
The dispatcher asks about swimming pools in the area. Spurlock said one neighbor had a pool behind a rail and chicken wire fence. It’s unclear if that is the same pool in which the twins were later found by a neighbor.
The neighbors between the Spurlock’s home and the home with the pool, Bob and Heather Bressert, were the individuals who spotted the girls in the pool. The couple removed the girls with the help of firefighters, according to WCPO-TV. It is unknown how long they had been in the water.
Eagle 99.3 has learned that there is no permit on file with Dearborn County anytime after 1998 for a swimming pool at the home at 10798 Elm Circle, where the girls were located. According to tax records, the unincorporated property is owned by Jason and Cheryl Stewart.
Dearborn County Planning & Zoning Director Mark McCormack says Indiana state law and county code requires that a pool either be surrounded by a fence or barrier at least four feet tall, unless the pool has a cover that meets certain specifications:
“i) provide a continuous connection between the cover and the deck, so as to prohibit access to the pool when the cover is completely drawn over the pool; ii) be mechanically operated by a key or key and switch such that the cover cannot be drawn open or retracted without the use of a key or a key and switch or touch pad with a personal access code; iii) be capable of supporting a four hundred (400) pound imposed load upon a completely drawn cover; iv) is installed with a track, rollers, rails, guides, or other accessories necessary to accomplish the other items in this section; v) bear an identification tag indicating the name of the manufacturer, name of the installer, installation date, and applicable safety standards, if any.”
It is unclear if the swimming pool and its cover in this situation met those specifications. No fence could be seen around the pool or yard.
Dearborn County’s permit records prior to 1998 were legally destroyed under court orders by preceding department heads, McCormack said.