NewsLocal NewsCuyahoga County


3-year-old girl dies after being found in Strongsville pool, mom says her autism played a role

Posted at 4:56 PM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-02 11:43:49-04

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — A small child has died after Strongsville police found her in a pool.

"I wasn’t right to step away and I blame myself. I blame myself a lot and everyone blames me I’m sure," said 3-year-old Aria Kalinich's mom, Jessica Baksi.

Baksi said she was just going down the street to grab her daughter some lunch at McDonald's and by the time she got back her child slipped out of a window and escaped.

"She’s climbed out the window before, we put bars, we put locks," she said.

Just before 1 p.m., police received a call about a 3-year-old child running up and down the street near Pearl Road and Cook Avenue, authorities said.

Officers responded to the area and started searching for the little girl. Aria was found around 1:23 p.m. in a pool behind a house on Cook Road, authorities said.

Officers said they immediately started performing life-saving measures on Aria and called in EMS.

Aria was transported to Southwest General Hospital, where she later died, according to Baksi.

Baksi says her daughter had severe autism which played a role in this tragic accident.

"I do want to put awareness on elopement in autism and severe autism, kids will run away, they will try to sneak off and put themselves in dangerous situations," she said.

"Some kids with autism have very high IQ’s they know how to figure out things when they have time, so she figured it out and she left," Baksi said.