placeholder
May 14, 2018 01:44 PM

A 30-year-old Florida woman is facing an aggravated manslaughter charge two months after her 3-year-old daughter drowned in an algae-riddled pool while she slept, PEOPLE confirms.

Caitlin Powell was taken into custody on Tuesday in connection with the March 11 death of Jazmine Neal.

An arrest report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office states Powell was asleep — following a night shift as a bartender — when Jazmine left their Lutz home through a sliding door and found her way to a nearby pool.

Powell had taken doctor-prescribed morphine pills while she was working and drank a number of shots, according to allegations in the arrest report, which was obtained by PEOPLE. After work, she picked up her children from a friend’s house around 4 a.m., drove home and then put her kids to bed, the report states.

She briefly woke up twice that morning to tend to her children but was awoken for good at 12:25 p.m., when one of her kids told her Jazmine had fallen into the pool, investigators said in the report.

Jazmine was transported to the nearest hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Authorities allege Powell’s actions directly led to her daughter’s drowning — something Powell appears to have disputed in comments she posted online after her arrest.

Jazmine Neal
GoFundMe

The sliding doors at Powell’s residence do not lock, according to authorities. After leaving the house, Jazmine was able to enter the pool through a gap in a fence in front of it, which had been blocked by a pair of cages, the report states.

Powell was released after posting $15,000 bond. PEOPLE could not reach her for comment.

She has yet to plead to the charge.

It was unclear Monday where the victim’s father was at the time of the incident, or if he lived with Powell.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Jared McCabe, Powell’s attorney, tells PEOPLE that many of the facts in this case have yet to be released — including the exact cause of Jazmine’s death.

“Until the prosecution proves to a jury and a jury makes a decision someone is guilty, under the law here in Florida, they are legally innocent,” McCabe says. “Let’s wait to see all the facts come out.”

He says he is investigating a possible civil case against the owners of the rental property where the incident occurred.

Caitlin Powell
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

‘I Am a Good Person’

In the comments section of a local news story about her case, Powell appears to have defended herself against those who blame her for her daughter’s death.

“My better judgement tells me not to reply to this article, but my heart tells me to do so,” a user with her name wrote, noting “the media does not give ALL the details, nor do they have all the facts. Out of respect and for my protection I will not elaborate on facts of the case.”

“I see many people are criticizing me for being a mom whose little girl accidentally drown in the family pool,” the user wrote. “I know I am opening myself up for more torment, but I feel that people need to know I am a good person, I love my children with every breath I take.”

The comment under Powell’s name continues: “Jazzy was my youngest and I would do anything to have her back. For you all to shame me for being a single mom who was doing her best to provide for my 4 children, I can’t argue only try to share with you my love and my dedication to my children. They are my life. Jazzy is missed every minute of the day.”

The user states that Powell is not a drug or alcohol abuser and that “I will live with this everyday of my life. I would trade my life to bring Jazzy back but that isn’t possible. I must live for my other children and try to find the inner strength to be there for them. For those of you who are not condemning me I thank you.”

You May Like

EDIT POST