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Officials: No one saw Columbia soccer player in distress in Michigan pool

Thursday, December 13, 2012 | 9:47 a.m. CST; updated 7:57 p.m. CST, Thursday, December 13, 2012

MARQUETTE, Mich. — An investigation into the drowning of an 18-year-old freshman on Northern Michigan University's varsity women's soccer team confirmed that no one saw or heard her in distress in the water, officials announced Thursday.

The school released preliminary information from its investigation into the Nov. 30 death of Arianna Alioto at the school's Physical Education Instructional Facility in Marquette. Autopsy results are expected in January, officials said, and there is no indication of foul play.

"The investigation is ongoing," public safety director Mike Bath said in a statement. "There is still work to do ... but the initial round of interviews has been completed."

The school has said Alioto, of Columbia, Mo., was found alone in the pool after a team workout. A lifeguard had left when the workout ended. Investigators interviewed everyone who was in a position to see what might have happened, including soccer team members, the coach, the lifeguard and rescuers, Bath said.

The interviews confirmed that "none of the persons in the pool during the training session saw or heard anyone in distress during or at the conclusion of the practice," the school said.

The lifeguard told investigators that she locked the pool entrances and turned in the pool key to the front desk about 5 p.m.; rescuers were called about 5:35 p.m., the school said. A student exercising in an area overlooking the pool reported seeing Alioto in the water.

Employees found Alioto unresponsive, officials have said, and after unsuccessful life-saving attempts by staff members and emergency, she was taken to Marquette General Hospital. She was pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m., the school said.

Alioto, a 5-foot-3 midfielder, redshirted this fall while recovering from a knee injury.


 


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