Boy with autism dies after being found at bottom of pool

Aiden Andrew Nuzzo, 7, of St. George, died after he was found at the bottom of the Sands Motel swimming pool, 581 E. St. George Blvd., St. George, Utah, Aug. 8, 2016 , photo location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Fight Aiden Fight GoFundMe page, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A 7-year-old boy with autism who was discovered at the bottom of a motel swimming pool in St. George Monday has died, authorities confirmed Wednesday.

Aiden Andrew Nuzzo, 7, of St. George, died after he was found at the bottom of the Sands Motel swimming pool, 581 E. St. George Blvd., St. George, Utah, Aug. 8, 2016 , photo location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Fight Aiden Fight GoFundMe page, St. George News
Aiden Andrew Nuzzo, 7, of St. George, died after he was found at the bottom of the Sands Motel swimming pool, 581 E. St. George Blvd., St. George, Utah, Aug. 8, 2016 , photo location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Fight Aiden Fight GoFundMe page, St. George News

Aiden Andrew Nuzzo, of St. George, was flown from Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City after authorities discovered the boy at the bottom of the Sands Motel swimming pool located at 581 E. St. George Blvd.

Officers responded to a lost child report early Monday morning at the Coronada Inn and Suites, 559 E. St. George Blvd., where Aiden Nuzzo and his mother, Celia Farr Nuzzo, had temporarily been living.

Aiden Nuzzo had reportedly slipped out of the motel room while his mother was sleeping.

Celia Nuzzo told police that her nonverbal son liked water, so officers immediately began checking nearby swimming pools, St. George Police Officer Lona Trombley said.

Approximately 10 minutes later, an officer found Aiden Nuzzo at the bottom of an outdoor swimming pool at a nearby motel, less than 100 feet from his motel room.

Officers began resuscitation efforts until medical personnel arrived and transported Aiden Nuzzo to Dixie Regional Medical Center. When a pulse was established, Aiden Nuzzo was flown via Life Flight to Primary Children’s Hospital where he reportedly died late Tuesday night.

A 7-year-old boy with autism was discovered at the bottom of the Sands Motel swimming pool, 581 E. St. George Blvd., after he had been reported missing from a room at a nearby motel, St. George, Utah, Aug. 8, 2016 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News
A 7-year-old boy with autism was discovered at the bottom of the Sands Motel swimming pool, 581 E. St. George Blvd., after he had been reported missing from a room at a nearby motel, St. George, Utah, Aug. 8, 2016 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

A GoFundMe account – that had raised $1,762 by 48 people in two days as of Thursday evening – was established by a family friend Tuesday to help Celia Nuzzo with her son’s medical expenses as well as to “help Celia get back on her feet” after falling on troubled times.

According to family friends, Celia Nuzzo suffered the loss of her husband, Steven Andrew Nuzzo, 32, of Cedar City, after he committed suicide May 3. The couple was reportedly separated at the time of his death.

Celia Nuzzo and her son were living in a short-term women’s crisis center before being kicked out when they reached the maximum number of days allowed there, Celia Nuzzo’s friend, NiCole Hembury, wrote on the GoFundMe website. The mother and her son were staying at the motel while trying to find affordable housing when the swimming pool tragedy occurred.

Celia Nuzzo and her son, Aiden Andrew Nuzzo, 7, of St. George, who died after he was found at the bottom of the Sands Motel swimming pool, 581 E. St. George Blvd., St. George, Utah, Aug. 8, 2016 , photo location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Fight Aiden Fight GoFundMe page, St. George News
Celia Nuzzo and her son, Aiden Andrew Nuzzo, 7, of St. George, who died after he was found at the bottom of the Sands Motel swimming pool, 581 E. St. George Blvd., St. George, Utah, Aug. 8, 2016 , photo location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Fight Aiden Fight GoFundMe page, St. George News

A week and a half prior to her son’s drowning, Celia Nuzzo was arrested for possession of marijuana and a felony charge of exposing her child to drug activity, according to Utah Court documents. Five days after being released from jail, Celia Nuzzo’s child was found at the bottom of the pool.

According to a probable cause statement filed by the St. George Police Department, the mother and her son had been living with Celia Nuzzo’s father-in-law, who reported the drug activity to police after picking Aiden Nuzzo up from a summer school program on July 27.

When the grandfather dropped his grandson off, Celia Nuzzo and her boyfriend were allegedly smoking marijuana on a back patio, and continued to do so while playing with the 7-year-old boy, the arresting officer wrote in the sworn statement.

When questioned, Celia Nuzzo allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana but told police she had stopped smoking just before her son came home, according to court documents.

Celia Nuzzo was released from police custody Aug. 3 on $5,000 bail. She is scheduled to appear in 5th District Court Aug. 22 on the drug-related charges.

Update Oct. 15: According to court records, on Sept. 19, Celia Nuzzo pleaded guilty to reduced charges stemming from her arrest on July 27 – prior to her son’s drowning – including the following:  Causing or permitting a child to be exposed to a controlled substance, a Class A misdemeanor, for which she was sentenced to a suspended term of 364 days; and possession or use of a controlled substance, a Class B misdemeanor, for which she was sentenced to a suspended term of 180 days. She was also ordered to pay fines totaling $3,500, $2,500 of which was suspended, with $1,000 payable over time, and placed on private supervised probation for 18 months.

The Washington County Attorney did not find charges appropriate against Celia Nuzzo in connection with her son’s drowning.

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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10 Comments

  • Brendon August 11, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Before we all start criticizing her, maybe we should take the time to think about the pain the family is experiencing. God bless that little boy and his family, especially his mother who is going to need all the love and help our community can offer.

  • Bob August 11, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    gov’t creating an autism epidemic by poisoning the citizens with faulty vaccines

  • Bob August 11, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    marijuana is not a real drug, only to the scum bag degenerates who keep it on the list to profit off the “war on drugs”. I hope this poor woman can get back on her feet and know her son has found peace and she should be at peace that it wasn’t her fault

    • ladybugavenger August 12, 2016 at 10:00 am

      I agree Bob. I feel for this woman. My heart goes out to her. I hope the community opens their arms up to her and loves her as it is love and support that she needs.

  • .... August 11, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    This is so sad. my condolences to the family

  • paul August 12, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Terrible thing ya let’s think about the mom here what she is going through before all these comments start instead of bashing her that’s all she needs at a time like this put your self in her shoes before you speak

  • sagemoon August 12, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Blessings for Celia and Aiden’s extended family.

  • mmsandie August 12, 2016 at 11:30 am

    How is a mother on drugs allowed to have her son?? Why wasn,t she at Switchpoint?? We have so many services available to help mothers.. Why was she thrown out of crisis center??? You can only help people so many times.. Locks on hotel rooms have high bar locks too.. Why wasn,t the pool secure at Sands motel?? Most places you need a. Key entry.. Was she sleeping or maybe drugs again.. She is pretty.. But sounds like not a responsible mother… My grandson is autistic and is watched and helped by a loviing family.. At least the boy is in a better place..

    • Bob August 12, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      oh, go take a nap! and lay off the meth pipe!

      • .... August 13, 2016 at 10:41 am

        Good one Bob. now follow your own advice

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