Rodgers Middle School Employees Cleared in Jennifer Caballero Drowning
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office will not issue any criminal charges in the case of the 11-year-old student who drowned.
After an extensive investigation, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office closed the case surrounding the drowning of 11-year-old Rodgers Middle School student Jennifer Caballero.
And the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office has ruled that no criminal charges are warranted in the case.
On Oct. 22, shortly after 1 p.m., the little girl with Down syndrome walked out of the school gymnasium where she was being supervised in a class of 20 other special-needs students by a teacher and six aides.
After an exhaustive search by sheriff's helicopters, K-9 units and divers, Caballero's body was discovered at about 6:15 p.m. at the bottom of a nearby pond.
Divers searching the pond found the child in water approximately 12 feet deep and approximately 20 feet from the shore line. The pond is surrounded by a 4-foot chain-link fence.
At an afternoon press conference, the Hillsborough County School District announced that it launched its own investigation.
"Obviously, this is something that we feel terrible over as a school district. I, as a superintendent, and the staff here, we cannot do anything to change what occurred but we have to do a full investigation so we can all understand this," said Superintendent MaryEllen Elia.
Five aides have been removed from the classroom starting today. According to an article on TBO.com, "They will be suspended with pay pending the outcome of a probe by the Office of Professional Standards."