As Memorial Day Nears, Mother Of Four-Year-Old Drowning Victim Pleads For Caution And Presses For Answers

Mother of Cami Grinnell, who drowned at a NJ public park last September, entrusted her daughter’s safety to camp personnel and lifeguards.

Cherry Hill, NJ (May 24, 2017) – Yvonne Grinnell’s birthday is today, but instead of celebrating she continues to mourn the death last September 2nd of her four-year-old daughter Cami. “You can’t imagine what it’s like to see your baby full of life in the morning before camp, and later that day she is on life support having drowned in a public park – without any flotation device and in front of lifeguards.”

Ms. Grinnell, a Burlington County, NJ resident, spoke publicly about the incident at Lake Absegami (Bass River State Park) for the first time today at a news conference with her attorneys. Lawyers from Saltz, Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, P.C., of Philadelphia, and Grungo Colarulo LLC, Cherry Hill, NJ, are following Ms. Grinnell’s request to do everything possible to ensure that what happened to Cami can never happen again to any child at any swimming area. To date they have filed claims notices, as required, with the State of New Jersey and will soon follow up with a civil complaint.

“Cami Grinnell was a precious child who deserved to live a long and bountiful life,” said Larry Bendesky, of SMB. “Camp personnel and park staff failed her miserably, to the point where she was denied use of the very flotation device – inflatable arm floats – that had any chance of saving her life,” he said. “Instead of her life being guarded at Lake Absegami, it was ignored, which led to her death,” he said.

Richard Grungo, of Grungo Colarulo, added, “Cami’s mother is grateful to the park visitors who came to her daughter’s aid that day, but also knows there are more eyewitnesses that can help explain this tragedy. We join in her public appeal for any additional information that could be helpful in the ongoing investigation into her drowning.”

Cami and Charles Grinnell

“I waited my whole life for my little angel, adopting her after fostering children for so many years,” said Ms. Grinnell. “And can you imagine what it’s like every day trying to explain to Charles, Cami’s big (nine-year-old) brother, who pulled her limp body from the lake, why she is gone. We must find out what happened and why, and prevent it from happening again.”

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