Wrong address leads to 13-minute response time to baby's drowning

A picture of Christopher Slaby, Randi MacLeod and baby Ava Slaby

A picture of Christopher Slaby, Randi MacLeod and baby Ava Slaby

— Sobbing as she attempted to revive her lifeless 15-month-old daughter Tuesday morning, Randi MacLeod waited for more than 13 minutes after calling 911 for the first Collier County sheriff’s deputy to arrive at her home.

The Sheriff’s Office released a copy of the 911 call on Friday.

It took Collier County EMS paramedics another nine minutes — 22 minutes after the initial 911 call — to arrive at the scene of the drowning, according to EMS records.

But the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said the reason for the delayed response was due to the 911 caller — presumably MacLeod, 25 — giving dispatchers the wrong address. She had only lived in the Golden Gate Estates home for less than a week.

“It took us about five minutes using the technology that we have to figure out the correct address,” Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Michelle Batten said.

A few minutes into the 911 call, dispatchers also lost their connection with MacLeod.

“There’s no way to tell if she lost service or if she hung up,” Batten said. “It took us seven phone calls to get her back on the line.”

Ava Grace Slaby, MacLeod’s 15-month-old daughter, was pronounced dead shortly after paramedics arrived at a home at 4290 26th Ave. SE, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

“The caller said the house was located at 9240 26th Ave. N.E.,” Batten said.

Dispatchers used mapping tools and databases to locate the correct home, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

The 911 call came in at 8:43 a.m. on Tuesday, and was dispatched at 8:49 a.m. Paramedics arrived on scene at 9:05 a.m. — 16 minutes after they were dispatched, said Collier County EMS Deputy Chief Wayne Watson.

It is about a 12-mile drive between Collier County EMS’ station near the intersection of Golden Gate Boulevard and 13th Street Southwest and MacLeod’s home on 26th Avenue Southeast.

“Preliminary, looking at it on a map, from where that station is to where the call is, it is an extensive distance,” Watson said.

Deputy Chief Dan Bowman, also with Collier EMS, said he just started reviewing the case.

“We understand that there was some sort of a delay associated with the call,” Bowman said. “We are inquiring with the Sheriff’s Office as to what exactly the issue was.”

When she called 911, a distraught MacLeod told dispatchers her daughter drowned, she wasn’t breathing and “her lips are blue.”

Incident reports have not detailed the cause of the drowning. However, family members have said Ava drowned in the bathtub after MacLeod left her alone to put food in her dog’s bowl, check on something in the microwave, and grab a towel.

When asked by the dispatcher if she had taken her daughter out of the tub, MacLeod said “Yes, I took her out.”

A couple of minutes into the call, a dispatcher starts giving MacLeod mouth-to-mouth resuscitation instructions. About 30 seconds later dispatchers lose their connection with MacLeod, and don’t get her back on the phone for more than two minutes.

They began cardiopulmonary resuscitation instructions about six minutes after receiving MacLeod’s 911 call.

“When I did the CPR thing to her, she’s making this weird noise,” MacLeod said.

A dog can be heard barking in the background about 13 minutes and 20 seconds into the call, as Deputy Patti Villa arrived on scene.

The Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation into the drowning death.

The Collier County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine cause of death for Ava Grace Slaby, born Nov. 3, 2009. The Sheriff’s Office will determine criminal culpability, if any.

_Connect with Ryan Mills at www.naplesnews.com/staff/ryan-mills/

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features