DCR closes 30 pools after woman found dead in Fall River
FALL RIVER, Mass. -- Police are investigating the death of 36-year-old Marie Joseph, who was found in a public swimming pool in Fall River.
Joseph was found floating in the Veterans Memorial Pool at Lafayette Park at about 10 p.m. Tuesday. She was pulled from the water and taken to a local hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
“I’m surprised she did go to the pool because she doesn’t even know how to swim,” said Dee Reid, one of the victim’s friends.
Authorities are trying to determine if she had been in the water since Sunday and no one saw her body under the 12 feet of water. Joseph reportedly slipped on a water slide and went underwater.
“Are you telling me the lifeguards couldn’t see a dead body,” said Candela Matta.
Matta is still in disbelief that no one saw Joseph, allegedly for days. Joseph was last seen on Sunday when she was helping a 9-year-old boy down from the slide.
“Marie unexpectedly slid down the slide landing on top of him. He further stated that Marie went under the water and did not surface,” said Chief Daniel S. Racine of the Fall River Police Department.
This was heartbreaking news for Herbert Callwood, Joseph’s boyfriend of eight years.
“I can’t really turn around say how I feel about her because she’s not here anymore,” said Callwood.
The pool was busy both Monday and Tuesday. Swimmers said they didn’t see anything in the water, though it was murky.
“It was a kind of like…white…white coloring,” said one swimmer.
“My son asked why no one could go in the deep end and they said because it was too cloudy,” said Lisa Durden, one of the Joseph’s friends.
The pool is operated by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. The agency on Wednesday closed all 30 of its deep water pools until further notice and suspended the workers at the Fall River pool.
The DCR Commissioner, Edward M. Lambert, Jr., released a statement on Wednesday saying:
“On behalf of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, we express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Marie Joseph. By 5:30pm today all 30 of DCR’s deepwater pools will be closed while we conduct a full review of each facility’s safety and operational procedures over the next 24 to 48 hours. As of this hour, the entire staff of the Veteran’s Memorial Swimming Pool in Fall River has been placed on administrative leave.
We will continue to cooperate fully with local and state law enforcement during their ongoing investigation.”
But none of that helps ease the loss of a friend.
“She’s got a dark complexion, how come they can’t see?” said Durden.
The staff at the pool found Joseph’s cell phone and ID. They turned it over to police, but because there was no missing persons report filed they didn’t make a connection until Joseph’s body surfaced on Tuesday night.
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