When his parents last saw him, Justin Gore was sound asleep on a couch in his grandparents' home. It was 5 a.m. Sunday, and they were en route to the airport to catch a flight to the Caribbean.
No one expected the 4-year-old boy would somehow let himself out of the house and make his way to a neighboring family's above-ground swimming pool, where he would drown, Cmdr. Al Roechner said.
But he did, and by the time the police discovered his body in the water and did CPR in an effort to revive him, it was too late, Roechner said. He was declared dead at 11:15 a.m. Sunday at in Joliet.
That tragedy was compounded by another on Monday morning, when the 47-year-old man who owned the pool in the 1500 block of Green Trails Drive died himself, the police commander said. Robert Miletta, 47, crashed his SUV into a house near his home after experiencing "multiple cardiac conditions" while driving, according to the Will County coroner's office.
Miletta had been out getting the equipment he needed to let the water out of his pool so that it could be dismantled, he said.
"It's all kind of unbelievable," Roechner said.
An autopsy was done on Justin Gore Monday, and while the results have not yet been released, the cause of death is expected to be drowning, Roechner said.
No one knows how Gore, who was autistic, was able to get out of the house, he said. The child's absence wasn't noted until his grandfather returned from the airport sometime after 10 a.m. and called police when the child couldn't be found.
While police were canvassing the neighborhood, Gore's body was discovered in the pool by the Miletta family, Roechner said.
The 4-year-old would have had to climb up stairs to the pool, which did not have a gate, he said.
Gore's family did not know the Milettas, who were so distraught by the accident that Robert Miletta's wife and daughter chose to stay overnight in a hotel rather than be in their house, Roechner said. Robert Miletta had wanted to take down the pool before they returned, he said.
Robert Miletta had been experiencing chest pain Sunday night, but he and family members thought they were tied to stress from the incident, he said.