PEOPLE spoke with Orange County Fire Authority Captain Steve Concialdi about the events surrounding 19-month-old Emeline Miller's tragic death
More details are emerging surrounding the tragic death of Bode Miller‘s daughter.
The Olympic alpine skier and wife Morgan Beck Miller shared the sad news Monday that 19-month-old Emeline Grier had died, with PEOPLE confirming the little girl had drowned in a pool in the neighborhood of Coto de Caza, California, over the weekend.
“It happened around 6:30 in the evening on Saturday night,” Orange County Fire Authority Captain Steve Concialdi tells PEOPLE. “They were at a neighbor’s house, talking to the neighbors inside, and somehow the little girl made her way to the backyard pool.”
He adds that Bode “was not in the area at the time.”
“She was only missing for just a short amount of time and Mom turned and was looking for her and didn’t see her right next to her,” he continues. “Mom went straight to the backyard to where the pool was. The child was in the pool. The mom pulled out the little girl and they started CPR immediately.”
Concialdi confirms drowning as the cause of death even though Emeline was only in the water “a very short amount of time,” explaining, “As our guys approached the backyard, they just handed the child to our firefighter paramedics” and adding that his team wasn’t “on the scene for long” before Emeline was transferred to Mission Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
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Contrary to rumors of a larger gathering, Concialdi says only “a couple of people” were at the neighbor’s house when Emeline wandered away, and “nobody was in the backyard” during the incident.
“Unfortunately, there was no isolation or safety gate that separated the house from the pool,” he tells PEOPLE. “Kids are drawn to the water. They see their older brothers and sisters playing in the water, they see friends, Mom and Dad are using the water, holding them — most kids don’t have any fear of the water.”
Continues Concialdi, “They see it as playtime and they just want to jump in and swim around and unfortunately, children do drown without a sound. There is no yelling or screaming. When a child jumps in the water and that child doesn’t know how to swim, they panic under water. It is extremely tragic.”
“The mom did everything she [could],” he says. “She went straight to that backyard pool, pulled her out immediately. They knew how to do CPR. They started CPR, our firefighter paramedics arrived quickly and they took her to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo and transported her in grave condition.”
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Concialdi explains that “You only do CPR when somebody doesn’t have a pulse and [is] not breathing,” confirming Emeline had “no pulse and no respiration” when his team arrived.
“It is extremely tragic for everybody involved, including the firefighters and the sheriff deputies,” Concialdi adds of the incident. “Our hearts are broken for this family. Most of us have children and we have seen our kids get away too far from us at times and we know how quickly this could happen. It is purely an accident.”
On Monday, the Orange County Fire Department confirmed to PEOPLE that paramedics were rushed to the scene and performed CPR before transporting Emeline to a nearby hospital, where she was unable to be resuscitated. The Orange County Coroner’s Office also confirmed Emeline’s death, ruling it as an accidental drowning.
“We are beyond devastated. Our baby girl, Emmy, passed away yesterday. Never in a million years did we think we would experience a pain like this,” Miller, 40, wrote on Instagram Monday.
“Her love, her light, her spirit will never be forgotten. Our little girl loved life and lived it to its fullest everyday,” added the athlete. “Our family respectfully requests privacy during this painful time.”