Aunt died trying to save drowning nephew in pool

Posted at 2:35 PM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-29 16:36:36-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. - A small teddy bear and bundle of flowers outside a pool mark a makeshift memorial for a young boy and a woman who drowned there Sunday night, according to police. Witnesses said Monday there were no signs of a problem before emergency crews were called to the Chesterfield Village Apartments.

There were 15 to 20 people at the pool and no one noticed the victims in distress, according to two witnesses who were at the pool Sunday evening. They said it was not until a teenager swam towards the deep end and spotted the woman and child that anyone knew something was amiss.

The teen immediately began yelling for help and community members helped pull Cah’lik Brown, 6, and his aunt, Christina Awosina, 23, from the pool.

Neighbors, responding police officers, and EMS crews tried to revive the pair, but both died at nearby Chippenham Hospital.

At this point, the investigation indicates both entered the deep end of the pool where Cah’lik let go of the pool wall and began to struggle in the water. Awosina let go of the pool wall in an attempt to help Cah’lik, and she began to struggle in the water, as well.

Shawn Swinson, who lives in an apartment near the pool, said he was readying his infant son to head to the pool when he heard sirens.

"Walked out and there was fire, police, EMS everywhere and everyone was crowded out front,” he told WTVR.  "Didn't really know what was going on until I saw the child having chest compression done."

A sign posted inside the pool area read there was "No Lifeguard" on duty. Neighbors said the complex does provide what they called a "pool monitor."  Swinson said management at the apartment complex is usually very responsive, and he hoped the pool area was better monitored in the future.

"Hopefully the management here gets the message, and they make it right. Nothing is ever going to make it right for the family," Swinson said.