UPDATE: A 7-year-old Newark girl had been reported missing before she was found drowned over the weekend in a backyard Teaneck pool that its owners rent out for parties, authorities said.
Officers and neighbors were searching for the girl after she'd been reported missing early Sunday evening, Teaneck Police Chief Glenn O'Reilly said.
They found her at the bottom of the in-ground pool on Westervelt Place near Teaneck Road shortly after 6 p.m., the chief said.
The officers conducted CPR, then escorted an ambulance to Holy Name Medical Center, where the child was pronounced dead at 7:22 p.m.
"I was a part of the search party looking for her," one neighbor said. "We thought she went missing. Her body could not be seen for a good 40 mins."
Sources told Daily Voice the girl had been with an older cousin. It wasn't immediately clear how they got split up.
The 60-something owners of the home have been renting their pool for private parties for more than a year on an Airbnb-styled app known as Swimply, according to the company website.
The 40’ x 20’ pool has depths that range from three to eight feet and is touted as "children and infant friendly," with security cameras, said the posting, which has since been removed.
The couple charges $65 an hour on weekends for up to 10 guests at their "Zen Oasis," and an additional $7 per hour per guest after that, according to the listing. Capacity is 60 guests.
Dozens of users have raved about the couple and their son, with one calling them "warm and gracious hosts."
The husband told ABC7 that he was the one who found the girl's body while police and neighbors were searching for her. He also claimed that someone had gone into the pool twice and "said he didn't see anything."
There were 25 people at the party -- 15 children and 10 adults -- which had broken up earlier, the homeowner said. Adults had been told that there wasn't a lifeguard and were given the usual warnings to keep an eye on the youngsters, he said.
The girl might have been inside the pool going around holding on to the edge when she just lost her grip and went under, the homeowner told ABC7.
"Like they said, she drowned silently," he said. "It was quiet. Nobody heard a flail. Nobody saw it. They weren't paying attention."
Pool rentals became an app-driven business amid the pandemic. People get the opportunity to have a private party and homeowners collect income.
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