Neighbors devastated by toddler's drowning

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Monday an East Texas child drowned in her family's pool on her 2nd birthday. CPS says Jay and Christine Knight of Tyler were in the process of adopting the toddler, Ava Faith Ayers.

Ava accidentally fell into the family's pool Monday on Arlington Avenue in Tyler.

Neighbors say the Knights are loving parents, who need your prayers to get through this. On Jay Knight's Facebook page, there is an outpouring of prayers and support after the drowning death of Ava.

Their neighbor did not want to be identified but says the entire neighborhood is devastated.

"They're just such wonderful people," said the neighbor. "[They are] always with their kids doing family events. They were always out pushing the girls in the strollers and had such a friendly smile on their face at all time and you could tell they were just loving parents. They were very proud of their kids."

Jay and Christine Knight were still in the process of adopting baby Ava. CPS says it was not yet finalized even though she had been with the Knights for a year now.

CPS says they adopted Ava's biological sister, 3-year-old Zoe, from a private agency.

Tyler Police say the little girls were in the care of a 16-year-old female babysitter Monday afternoon who made the 9-1-1 call.

"The 16-year-old was talking to someone and apparently the 2-year-old was able to get out the back door without the babysitter being aware of it and fell in the pool," explained Don Martin, with Tyler Police.

EMS responded but no one was able to revive Ava. The toddler was pronounced dead at Trinity Mother Francis in Tyler on her second birthday.

"This is a tragic loss and we are devastated and our hearts go out to the Knight family and our prayers are with them," said the neighbor. "We know that God's peace will be with them."

No charges have been filed and police are not releasing the name of the babysitter because she is a juvenile.

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