PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) - An Escambia County, Fla. woman facing child abuse allegations in another state is behind bars after a 14-month-old child drowned in a landscaping pond.
Authorities said the child was found by a neighbor in his yard Wednesday, August 28 around 5:30 p. m.
They said the child was lying lifeless in a small landscaping style plastic pond.
"The neighbor was alerted to the situation when a sibling of the child came to him frantically yelling and pointing at the pond. That's when he walked over there and discovered the child's body," said Rhonda Ray with the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.
Emergency responders arrived and tried to resuscitate the child but couldn't. The child was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The child's mother Jennifer Eiland, 31, is behind bars faced with four counts of child neglect - one for each of her surviving children.
"They described the housing conditions as unsanitary for children. There were some reports from witnesses that a child was seen days ago by the road in nothing but a diaper. They're still investigating those conditions," Ray said.
According to investigators, the children, who range in age from three to eight, had been placed in foster care and were only recently returned to Eiland.
FOX 10 spoke to family members at Eiland's address who declined to comment on camera. They said this is a family matter, and they're now trying to cope with the loss of a child.
Ray said the child's death was tough even for seasoned investigators.
"They've seen a lot of death. They see this day in and day out. But I can tell you as they were working this case, there was hardly a dry eye in the hospital," said Ray.
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