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Family demands answers in drowning of loved one at Miami Beach pool with lifeguards on duty

Family seeks answers in drowning death of Miami Beach employee at Scott Rakow Youth Center
Family seeks answers in drowning death of Miami Beach employee at Scott Rakow Youth Center 02:22

MIAMI – The family of a Miami Beach city employee who drowned at a public pool on August 16 is demanding answers about how their loved one died while lifeguards were on duty.

A mourning mother – desperate for answers – is trying to understand the untimely and tragic death of her son, PJ Janvier. 

Attorney Douglas McCarron of The Haggard Law Firm said, "The incident happened on August 16th and the family still has no answers as to how it happened and why it happened." 

Friday morning the family, accompanied by their attorneys, asked those who may have been at the pool on August 16 to come forward. They say there are multiple rumors about what happened posted online -- which is making it difficult to grieve. 

"How can a football coach be at the bottom of the pool for 15-20 minutes and not be saved?" asked Marc Brumer with The Law Offices of Brumer & Brumer. "There were lifeguards on duty it was the last day of camp."

The city of Miami Beach says that one lifeguard on duty has been suspended, pending a hearing to determine if he should be terminated.  A second guard on the pool deck, who was a seasonal employee, was terminated by the city.  And a part-time recreation leader is also suspended pending a hearing. 

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber released a statement saying, in part:  "While this matter is under investigation, nothing can change the fact that PJ was very much beloved by those who worked with him and knew him. It is my expectation that after a full review all the facts will be shared with the community and PJ's family."   

Last week, the City Manager of Miami Beach Alina T. Hudak sent a message to staff. It reads in part: "It is with great sadness that I share with you the passing of our friend and colleague Peniel Janvier. There are no words to capture the sorrow that his family is feeling. This is truly heartbreaking news." 

"We don't know if someone pushed PJ into the pool," said McCarron, "we don't know what the video shows. But we do know is that people have that information." 

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