Child with autism drowns in neighbor's pool in Seminole

Posted at 11:26 AM, Jul 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-10 11:17:27-04

A 7-year-old child with autism slipped out a door at a house on 95th Terrace in unincorporated Pinellas County, wandered into a nearby pool and drowned, officials said.

The incident occurred shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday  in the 8300 block of 95th Terrace, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said. 

According to sheriff's detectives, 7-year-old Arternio Shkulaku was with his parents, Agron and Dangela Shkulaku, and one of his grandmothers at the house. Arternio's grandmother alerted his parents the little boy was missing.

The family began searching for Arternio and notified deputies about 30 minutes later. A Pinellas County sheriff's report said a language barrier contributed to the delay of deputies being notified.

Neighbors told deputies they found Arternio face down in a pool across the street from where the child lived. They pulled Arternio from the water and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until deputies and Seminole Fire Rescue arrived and continued the efforts.

Arternio was unresponsive when he was taken by ambulance to Largo Medical Center. He was pronounced dead at the hospital at 10 p.m. Saturday, the report said.

Detectives assigned to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office's Crimes Against Children Unit are investigating.

The incident appears to have been accidental, sheriff's detectives said.