Autopsy: Three found dead in Durham pool accidentally drowned

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018
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911 calls released in Durham apartment complex drownings

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The deaths of three young people who drowned in a Durham swimming pool in June have been ruled as accidental drownings, according to a medical examiner's report.

The three people -- 15-year-old Abril Yuliana Flores-Ojeda, 16-year-old Manuel Benitez Hernandez, and 21-year-old Luis Enrique Delgado Romero -- all died at the hospital.

A fourth person, who isn't being identified because he is a minor, was the only survivor of the incident and told police neither he nor Benitez Hernandez knew how to swim.

The incident happened about 3 a.m. June 19 at the Chapel Tower apartment complex. None of the victims lived there.

The four broke into the pool at 1315 Morreene Road with the intent to swim and drink. Officers found beer cans -- both full and empty -- near the pool.

According to the report, the minor told police that Flores-Ojeda, who was in the deep end of the pool with Delgado Romero, asked Benitez Hernandez to come to the deep end.

He attempted to swim but started struggling and when Flores-Ojeda tried to help him, he panicked and pulled her under. It's unclear what happened next but somehow all three victims ended up at the bottom of the pool.

The minor went to seek help. Police responded at 3:12 a.m.

Rescue attempts were unsuccessful and the three victims were pronounced dead at Duke University Medical Center.

Video on this story is from a previous report.