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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angev... angevil53

i think someone should hold some liability here, i'm soooo not the suing type but if that was MY mother or daughter i'd be beyond pissed! who closes down a pool and just leaves someone floating in there? there has to be more to this story.

LoriA... LoriAnn87

This is just sad no one notice her floating that like and jump in to see if there was somethig wrong.

Memph... MemphisSuzi

Unbelievable in so many ways -- 1. Why would her family leave her there and not noticed/care/report her missing for 2 days?  2. How could other swimmers not have noticed a body just sitting there at the bottom?  3. In the morning when it opened or at night when it closed  NO ONE saw this body?  I dont buy it -- there has to be more to this

nonmember avatar Gertie

This story seems like there is more to it. However, if there is not then everyone involved (lifeguards included) should be held criminally liable.

Beths... Bethsunshine

There is so much wrong with this story!! How did the lifeguards not know she drowned in the first place? How did her family not realize she was missing/? SICKENING!!! There has to be more to the story.

Tonya Brady

I think this is totally believable and possible.  If you spent just one day at the public pool around here you would see that the only thing the lifeguards are interested in is each other, and the amount of nookie they can achieve in the pool house. 

nonmember avatar Aimee

I'm from Boston and the story is shocking. I mean there are so many "how comes" it is astounding. I mean the group left without her, no one reported her missing, no one saw her body I mean it's just flabergasting!

JHanc968 JHanc968

Two Days.... are you kidding! This is insane!

nonmember avatar ele4phant

This can't be the entire story, there has to be more to it. Just the 9 year old alone, he only tried once to tell the lifeguards about his babysitter? How did he get home? There has to be something else going on.

Mary Renner

I agree, there's got to be more to this story. It's hardly believable.

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