A 5-year-old girl who was found unresponsive at the bottom of a swimming pool in Minot last Thursday died over the weekend.

The girl, identified by the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office as Abigail Rodrigue of Minot, died Saturday morning, Lt. Glenn Holt said.

Police said the girl was one of eight or nine children playing in the in-ground pool at a home at 145 Fortin Drive when she apparently sank to the bottom and did not resurface about 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The children in the pool ranged from 5 to 11 or 12 years old.

Most of the adults, including the child’s mother, were inside the house attending a Pampered Chef party. Pampered Chef sells multipurpose kitchen tools and provides cooking tips at in-home cooking shows, according to its website.

Two adults were outside in the pool area, with one cooking hamburgers and hot dogs, and the other keeping an eye on the slide into the pool’s deep end, the sheriff’s office said last week.

The girl apparently was playing in the shallow end of the pool but somehow ended up in the deep end. She could not swim, according to the sheriff’s office.

Holt said the girl’s death appears to be accidental and he does not expect any charges will be filed.

The girl was already underwater by the time anyone noticed, and one of the other children pulled her from the water.

Adults gave the child CPR while others called 911. The girl was unresponsive when emergency crews arrived.

She was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston and later transferred to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Friends of the girl’s parents, Jessica and Lucas Rodrigue, have set up pages on crowd-funding sites GoFundMe.com and GiveForward.com, asking for donations to help the family pay for her medical and after-life expenses. There were more than $4,000 in donations between the two sites Monday evening.

Comments left on those sites and on Facebook indicated that the girl, who went by Abby, was a Daisy Scout and a dancer and that she would have turned 6 at the end of the month.

Phone and email messages for her family and their friends were not returned Monday.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was a nationwide annual average of 3,533 deaths from unintentional drowning between 2005 and 2009, and about one in five people who drowns is 14 years old or younger.

For every death of a child from drowning, five more children receive emergency room treatment for injuries from submersion, the CDC said.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers contributed to this report.


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