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Neighborhood Mourns Loss of Girl Who Drowned in San Mateo Lagoon

The 3-year-old girl died Saturday in what police called "a tragic, accidental death."

 

Stuffed animals, candles and flowers lined the waters of the San Mateo Lagoon Monday morning, where a 3-year-old girl Saturday in what police are calling a "tragic" incident.

The girl, who the San Francisco Chronicle identified as Tatiana Eiland-Clinton, was found floating in the waters at about 4:30 p.m. after apparently wandering away from her home in the 1500 block of Day Street.

Paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive her, and she was pronounced dead at the scene a short time after, according to police.

A neighbor said Monday he has lived on Day Avenue for nearly 25 years and had never heard of such an incident occurring in the neighborhood.

"I've never seen an accident of any sort," said the neighbor, who wished to not be identified.

He said he was home Saturday afternoon when he saw another neighbor and his two sons, about 8 and 14, talking to a girl by the lagoon. The girl, about 9 or 10, turned out to be Tatiana's sister. She was cloaked in a towel and appeared to be wet, as if she'd been swimming.

"She said she was looking for her little sister," the neighbor said.

About 15 minutes later, as the neighbor said he was getting ready to leave for church, he saw paramedics and police responding to the lagoon, and learned the young girl had drowned.

Tatiana, according to the Chronicle, was autistic, and had a fraternal twin brother. Her parents told the Chronicle she loved to laugh and smile, and had a presence that would light up a room.

About 10-12 neighbors and family members held a vigil for Tatiana following the drowning, where her parents thanked neighbors for their concern and support.

"The neighbors all rallied around" the family, a neighbor said.

The San Mateo Police Department hasn't released further details on the case.

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