BALDWIN (KDKA) – The sad tragedy of a 7-year-old girl who drowned in a backyard pool has turned into a nasty, finger pointing dispute between neighbors.
But, Jessica Basnet’s death is almost getting lost in all of this.
Earlier this week, the owner of the pool blamed her neighbors for the death, claiming they trespassed on her property.
Now, those neighbors responded, saying the pool owners were irresponsible for not securing the pool.
On Wednesday, the woman who was caring for the 7-year-old called the police on her neighbors, claiming they continue to threaten her.
“So painful to me. I don’t have any words to say. So painful,” Bhima Acharya said.
Acharya, 25, is a native of Nepal and a United States citizen. She was watching Jessica and went to use the bathroom. When she came out, Jessica was gone.
“I looked for her and I [didn’t see] her, and then I saw her clothes outside on my swing. She changed her dress and she put a swimming suit,” Acharya said.
That’s when she found Jessica lifeless in the neighbor’s pool. They tried CPR, but it was too late. Acharya said the neighbors failed to secure the pool and there’s no fence.
“They have the floatie, her ladder, everything there. I think she just go by the ladder and she jumped there,” Acharya said.
But, pool owner Janell Loman, who was on vacation when the drowning happened, claims it was the neighbors who trespassed and set up the ladder that led to the drowning.
“Her husband was threatening me. He said, ‘Why did you put the girl in the pool without my permission? This is my property.’ I was like, ‘No, I did not put the girl in the swimming pool. She go by herself,’” Acharya said.
Wednesday morning, police had to quiet the arguments. Acharya and her family say they are filing harassment charges.
None of this can erase the loss of a little girl who lost her life in that pool.
“She’s like my baby. I always used to care for her. I feel so nervous,” Acharya said.
Allegheny County Police are working to sort out the dispute.