Police: Girl, 4, drowned feet away from adult



KISSIMMEE, Fla. - A 4-year-old girl drowned in Kissimmee and police arrested the man they said did nothing to help her.

Wednesday, even seasoned police officers said they're shocked by the suspect's actions.

The suspect, Elijah Morton, is out of jail Wednesday.

He was supposed to be watching nine children, including his own, while visiting the Coral Cay Townhomes in Kissimmee for a family reunion.

A relative's 4-year-old child, Genesis Harper, drowned with Morton only a few feet away Friday.

Morton said he didn't know the little girl was in the main pool.

WFTV obtained a report that said what happened to Harper was caught on video from beginning to end, and police said his story doesn't add up.

Kissimmee Police Chief Lee Massie said he is speaking out about her death because he said it could serve as a lesson to all parents.

"That child one minute was fine and within seconds was underwater," Massie said.

Surveillance video from the pool is too disturbing to show, but police released a photo from it, showing Morton a few feet away in the water with her.

Police said Harper can be clearly seen making several attempts to grab a swim noodle in the deep end.

Police said in the video, Morton can be seen making no attempt to warn her of the danger.

"If one person is in charge of a large number of kids, pay attention to the environment those kids are in," Massie said.

Moments later, police said the video shows Harper in distress, trying to reach the pool's wall.

According to the report, Morton is still near her in the pool but was "focused on entertaining his own child" while Harper was "struggling to save herself."

"You have a multitude of emotions. You're hurt, you're angry, you're frustrated," Massie said.

The video shows Genesis was underwater for roughly two minutes.

Police said Morton used a swim noodle to prod a dark shadow he noticed at the bottom of the pool that turned out to be her body.

Morton was charged with aggravated child neglect and released on a $2,500 bond

The chief said that's the extent of the charges because Morton's negligence caused her death.