Parents of drowned toddler charged with murder

Amber Johnson

Amber Johnson

James Johnson III

James Johnson III

2-year-old dies after being found in neighbor’s pool

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — A 2-year-old girl found unresponsive in a neighbor’s swimming pool June 3 died the next day.

The two parents — Amber Johnson and James Johnson III — were arraigned before 19th District Court Judge Sam Salamey June 9 on charges of homicide second degree murder, homicide involuntary manslaughter and second degree child abuse.

Bond for each was set at $1 million, and a probable cause conference was scheduled for June 24. A preliminary examination of the evidence against them was scheduled for July 1 in 19th District Court.

“The alleged actions and inactions of the defendants in this case defy common sense,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. “Once again we are left with a child, whose death was completely preventable.”

Police were called to a house in the 2600 block of Boldt Street after a report of a child had fallen into a neighbor’s swimming pool just before 10:30 a.m. June 3. Officers arrived at the scene and found the caller and homeowner performing CPR on the child.

Dearborn Rescue responded and transported the child to a local hospital where she was listed in critical condition.

The child passed died at the hospital about 11:15 a.m., police said.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct their investigation within the next few days. The Dearborn Police Department also will continue to investigate the incident.

A preliminary investigation shows the 2-year girl and her 3-year brother left their house while their parents were sleeping. Both children managed to climb the chain link fence which allowed them access to the neighbor’s yard.

According to the report, it the girl was able to climb the pool ladder and get into the pool.

When the homeowner looked out her window and saw the child in her pool, she immediately pulled her from the pool and began administering CPR.

The 3-year old child was uninjured.

“This is a tragic situation for all the families involved,” Police Chief Ronald Haddad said.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at