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Middle School Employees Cleared in Student's Drowning

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office will not issue any criminal charges in the case of the 11-year-old student who drowned.

After an extensive investigation, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office closed the case surrounding the drowning of 11-year-old Rodgers Middle School student Jennifer Caballero.

And the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office has ruled that no criminal charges are warranted in the case.

On Oct. 22, shortly after 1 p.m., the little girl with Down syndrome walked out of the school gymnasium where she was being supervised in a class of 20 other special-needs students by a teacher and six aides.

After an exhaustive search by sheriff's helicopters, K-9 units and divers, Caballero's body was discovered at about 6:15 p.m. at the bottom of a nearby pond. 

Divers searching the pond found the child in water approximately 12 feet deep and approximately 20 feet from the shore line. The pond is surrounded by a 4-foot chain-link fence.

Hillsborough County School District Superintendent MaryEllen Elia said the district will conduct its own investigation as well.

"Obviously, this is something that we feel terrible over as a school district. I, as a superintendent, and the staff here, we cannot do anything to change what occurred but we have to do a full investigation so we can all understand this," said Elia.

krystal November 14, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Makes me feel so safe to send my children to school!

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