Fruitland Park house where young girl died in septic tank had code violations

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FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. - Channel 9 has obtained a report containing new information about the home in Fruitland Park where a little girl died after falling into a septic tank Wednesday.
 
Investigators said 2-year-old Marissa Daniels fell while she was playing with two other small children at the home on Jewell Street.
 
Channel 9's Marion Boone learned that inspectors recently cited the home for three code violations, including an exposed septic tank.
 
A neighbor called code enforcement to report the cover was missing because a car crash pushed a temporary cover off of the tank.
 
Just one day after the call, the little girl fell inside that septic tank and died.

"The septic tank was absolutely just an open hole," said Deputy Chief David Borst of the Fruitland Park Police Department.

 Fruitland Park police told Boone that residents knew about the violations but had no plans to fix problems because the home is in foreclosure.
 
"The people at the house were aware of the problems and they should've taken care of it," said Borst.
 
Authorities said the child died Wednesday as her father helped the home's residents pack up and move out.

Officers said three toddlers were in the backyard playing as several families were helping the homeowner move. A short time later, relatives noticed one of them was missing, so they called 911.

When police arrived, they found what looked like a puddle of water in the backyard.

"It was the hole to a septic tank.  After we discovered that, we called in people.  A search was conducted in the tank and the child was found inside the tank," said Fruitland Park Police Chief Terry Isaacs.

On Thursday, workers were called in to collapse and fill the septic tank.


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