Heartbreaking new details revealed in tragic death of girl sucked into hotel swimming pool hole

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An attorney representing the family of a girl who died when she was suddenly sucked into a swimming pool at a hotel in Houston, Texas, has revealed harrowing new details about the tragic incident and says he is suing all parties responsible for her death on behalf of her family.

Aliyah Lynette Jaico, 8, was swimming in a lazy river at the Doubletree by Hilton Houston Brookhollow on March 23 when she suddenly disappeared at around 4:50 p.m. and was pulled into an unsecured open gap in the swimming pool flow system that measures between 12 and 16 inches wide, the family’s attorney Richard Nava, tells Fox News Digital.

The family was initially unaware of where she had gone and after a frantic search, police and rescuers arrived on the scene and determined she had been pulled into the 20-foot-long gap. Her body was discovered wedged in the pipes of the “malfunctioning pool equipment,” a lawsuit filed by the family claims. 

Aliyah Lynette Jaico,

Aliyah Lynette Jaico died when she was sucked into a hole in a hotel swimming pool in Houston, Texas, on March 23. (Dignity Memorial, Google Maps )

8-YEAR-OLD HOUSTON GIRL ‘VIOLENTLY SUCKED’ INTO HILTON HOTEL POOL PIPE BEFORE DEATH, LAWSUIT SAYS

It took first responders 12 hours to get to her body as they had to drain water and break concrete around the gap. Houston police have yet to publicly release an official cause of death.

Nava tells Fox News Digital that Aliyah loved to swim so her mother, Daniela Jaico, booked the family into the hotel for the night, just so they could use its pool and lazy river because they did not have access to a pool where they live.

But Nava says the family did not intend on staying the night and only paid for a room to use its swimming facilities.

“They just wanted to come swim for the day because it was a nice Saturday. She wasn’t even intending on staying there, and it’s just horrible,” says Nava, of the Houston-based Nava Law Group. “It was just a family outing. They didn’t have any other kind of pool that they could access and that was the nearest pool that has a lazy river. It looks like a fun place, a family-friendly place to go, not a haphazard death trap.”

Nava says that Daniela is trying to cope with the inconceivable passing of her daughter. Her funeral took place on Thursday. 

“She is probably one of the strongest human beings that I’ve ever seen go through this process, and it’s just absolutely horrific. I think the true ramifications of this tragedy haven’t hit her yet, Nava says, referring to Daniela. “One of the most poignant things she told me was that, ‘I have to imagine Aliyah just being at her friend’s house, it’s not real for me.'”

“And you know Aliyah has sisters, too, so everyone’s suffering,” Nava adds.

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Prior to Aliyah’s funeral, Daniela posted a somber message on Facebook inviting mourners to attend the gathering. 

“My beautiful girl you left and I still don’t know how to let you go, I feel like this is a nightmare,” Daniela wrote.

“I want to send her off as she deserves with lots of love and surrounded by the people she loved. My Ali was always a girl who was loved by many… I love you my girl in this life… and I will love you in the next, until we meet again.”

The hotel, which is located about 11 miles northwest of Downtown Houston, is operated by Unique Crowne Hospitality LLC, according to a lawsuit filed by Nava on behalf of the family, which seeks wrongful death damages of $1 million. Both Unique Crowne Hospitality LLC and Hilton Worldwide Holdings INC. are named as defendants.

Nava says that the damages could end up being well above $1 million, but under Texas law, he needed to plead $1 million when filing the suit.

Hilton is distancing itself from the incident with a spokesperson telling Fox News Digital that it does not own, manage or control the day-to-day operations of the property and it does not employ any of the property’s staff or its third-party operators.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of a young girl at the DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Brookhollow and offer our sincere condolences to her family and loved ones. This property is independently owned and operated by a third party,” the spokesperson said.

Fox News Digital has not received a response from Unique Crowne Hospitality LLC.

The Double Tree Hotel and its swimming pool

The young victim, Aliyah Lynette Jaico, was swimming in a lazy river at the Doubletree by Hilton Houston Brookhollow when she suddenly disappeared at around 4:50 p.m. and was pulled into a pipe, according to the lawsuit.  (Google Maps)

Hilton’s response has angered both Daniela and Nava. They are also furious that staff at the hotel allegedly did not grant them access to security cameras to try and figure out where she had initially disappeared to. 

“She is upset with how Hilton is disclaiming any responsibility because it’s part of some franchise agreement, and I know how those things work,” Nava says. “However, we sued Hilton because I wanted everybody to know that during my investigation, it seems that Hilton has issues with safety. And for them to just put their name on a hotel and you’re expected a certain level of service and then when something bad happens, say it’s just a franchise … whatever standards they use when they associate themselves with these hotels, it needs to change.”

Nava says he lives near the hotel and is very familiar with it. It was previously known as the Grand Tuscany Hotel as far back as 2022, according to Google Maps images of its exterior.

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“We have an indication already that the hotel’s safety standards were just terrible,” Nava says. 

Navas says he also intends to file an amended petition with a temporary restraining order, so his team can get access to the pool.

“It’s just terrible, it was completely avoidable, and I’m actually very angry that it happened because I have two girls myself and now nobody’s going to want to get in a lazy river unless you know that these jets are properly functioning and covered properly.”

READ THE LAWSUIT BELOW. APP USERS: CLICK HERE

Navas says the gap Aliyah was discovered in is used to push water into the lazy river in order to create a current. 

“It’s not always necessary that it’s covered, but it should absolutely 1,000% be safety checked to make sure that it’s not operating the opposite of what it’s supposed to do. Other parts of the pool probably were fine, but that hole in particular was like a vacuum,” Nava says. “I have unfortunately represented other kids that have died in incidents before, but this one is absolutely shocking to my senses because I had to see photos of this girl’s little body crumpled and contorted in that pipe.” 

“The pressure that pulled her in. Even if mom was there or even if I was there, and it was my daughter, I don’t necessarily know that I would have been able to avoid this tragedy, that I would have had the strength to pull her out. I mean, this is a high-powered motor with, I’m probably sure, is 25, 50 horsepower or more,” he adds. “It’s shocking to me still.”

Houston Police Department logo

Houston Police have yet to reveal an official cause of death in the tragic incident. (Houston Police Department)

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