Gastonia, N.C. - June 14, 2022: Detectives from the Gastonia Police Department are investigating the June 11 drowning death of a six-year-old girl that occurred in a residential pool. There is no foul play suspected in the girl’s death.
At approximately 4:29 p.m. on June 11, Gastonia Police Department officers and Fire & Rescue personnel responded to a home on S. Emerson Street for the report of a possible drowning in a backyard above-ground pool. Family members pulled the six-year-old out of the water and attempted life-saving measures prior to first responders arriving.
First responders who arrived at the home took over life-saving measures and transported the girl, identified as Za’myah Judge, to a local hospital. Judge was pronounced deceased at the hospital.
Preliminary investigation by detectives indicates that Judge stacked several chairs against her next-door neighbor’s locked pool gate, climbed over the gate, and entered the water. Judge’s younger brother told investigators that he saw Judge enter the water and that he ran for help after he did not see her re-surface.