Police: Child drowns as babysitter scrolls Facebook

Kariasa Thomas was charged with reckless injury to a child on August 3. (Source: Dallas County Jail)
Kariasa Thomas was charged with reckless injury to a child on August 3. (Source: Dallas County Jail)

DALLAS (RNN) – A Dallas woman has been formally charged in a child's drowning death after police say she was distracted by social media.

Kanyce Giddings, 3, drowned on June 22.

According to news reports, 37-year-old Kariasa Thomas was babysitting four children and a dog at a Dallas apartment complex pool, including Giddings. All of the children were under the ages of seven years old, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The group went to the closed pool around 7 p.m., but did not leave because others were there.

Thomas' best friend is the mother of the children she was babysitting.

Thomas was arrested on Aug. 3, charged with reckless injury to a child, a second-degree felony in Texas. Her bond has been set at $25,000 and she remains in Dallas County, TX Jail.

The Dallas Morning News reported Thomas told detectives that instead of monitoring the children, she sat at the pool and logged on to Facebook on her phone. She said she scrolled the social media website for about 15 minutes. Thomas also told investigators that she played with her dog during the incident.

Investigators said that Thomas knew that Giddings could not swim, but allowed her to play in the pool, instructing her to stand on the steps leading into the pool as the others swam.

The Dallas Morning News also reported that Thomas' husband and 16-year-old daughter accompanied her to the pool as she babysat.

After being at the pool for some time, an off-duty officer who lives at the apartment complex told the visitors that the pool was closed. As Thomas began to round up the children, she noticed Giddings was missing. Thomas found the child after she walked into the pool and kicked her lifeless body.

Investigators said the off-duty officer attempted CPR on the child, who was pronounced dead at Methodist Charlton Medical Center.

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