A 2-year-old drowned in a backyard pool after the pool fence was left propped open during a family gathering.
The toddler, who was visiting the home, was transported to the hospital in extremely critical condition, but was later pronounced dead, despite efforts by the homeowner and sheriff's deputies to save her.
"When I came from church and saw all the sheriffs, that's when I found out something was wrong," said Brenda Jack-Rushing, a neighbor.
Neighbors were in disbelief as sheriff's deputies' cars lined up outside a Litchfield Park home, where a 2-year-old girl drowned around 1 p.m. Sunday.
"As deputies arrived on scene, the homeowner was administering CPR, at which time sheriff's deputies took over administering CPR to the child," said MCSO Deputy Joaquin Enriquez.
Investigators say several adults and children were at the house, near Bethany Home and Dysart, for a family gathering.
"It's my understanding the victim, the 2-year-old, was with parents visiting at this location," said Enriquez.
Deputies say there was a fence around the backyard pool, but they say the gate was propped open. Family members say they lost track of the little girl for just two to five minutes.
" I do know the homeowner is the one who pulled the child out of the pool and began administering CPR on the child," said Enriquez.
"It's sad anytime you hear a kid that drowns," said Jim Roberts, a neighbor.
Roberts lives nearby.
He says with four young children, he and his wife specifically looked for a home without a pool.
"We'd rather have the kids be able to go outside and play without the risk without the worry, 'Where are the kids?'" said Roberts.
"It's important that we watch our kids around water, especially at an age where they're vulnerable and willing to go outside and explore, and unfortunately this one this cost us," said Enriquez.
"Just a tragedy," said Jack-Rushing. "My heart and my prayers go out to them."
Neighbors say the family that lived in the home moved in just last week.
Deputies say no one else was in or around the pool at the time of the drowning.
According to the Children's Safety Zone, four children have drowned this year in Maricopa and Pinal Counties.