Lifeguards & Swimmers Ignored Drowned Woman's Body for Days

swimming poolAs you consider ways to cool off this July 4th weekend, here's a story that may make you rethink a trip to your local public swimming pool. Earlier this week in Fall River, Massachusetts, the body of Marie Joseph, 36, was found in the town's pool. Sad and disturbing enough, but police believe the mother of three was actually floating there for two days before anyone noticed.

For TWO DAYS swimmers swam, dove, and had a grand old time in the sun, and no one noticed her body. It's unfathomable that something like that could happen, and what the hell were the lifeguards doing?


According to a story from, Joseph went to Veteran's Memorial Pool on Sunday around 2 p.m. with some friends, including a 9-year-old boy she was watching go down a slide. Police believe she drowned after going down the slide herself. Police chief Daniel Racine told the station:

The boy stated that once he was in the water after coming down the slide, Marie unexpectedly slid down the slide landing on top of him. He further stated that she went under the water and did not surface.

Upon seeing this, the boy reportedly did exactly what he should have done -- he told a lifeguard. According to him, the lifeguard ignored him, which isn't hard to believe considering the lifeguards at this pool didn't notice the body for two days. 

Why the boy didn't tell anyone else, and why the woman's friends left without her aren't clear, but no one found her until about 10 p.m. Tuesday. That means all day Monday and all day Tuesday (when the pool was reportedly busy and bustling), she was there and no one noticed. How can that happen? I mean it's not like the murky ocean; pools are pretty clear and transparent ... or should be. Just yesterday my husband spotted and rescued a little baby possum from our backyard pool. That guy was tiny; a woman is much bigger!

Police are investigating, and the pool has been shut down until they try to figure out what went wrong. But wow, does this case ever raise some serious and scary questions about the quality of lifeguards and just how self-absorbed people may be to not even notice a dead woman beside them.

How do you think it's possible for a woman to float dead in a public swimming pool for two days with no one noticing?

Image via Julien Haler/Flickr

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