Witnesses Say Mom Ignored Son Who Drowned in Texas Water Park Without Life Jacket: Police

Anthony Malave, 3, drowned in May at the Camp Cohen Water Park in El Paso

<p>El Paso Police Department; Sunset Funeral Homes</p> Jessica Weaver; Anthony Malave

El Paso Police Department; Sunset Funeral Homes

Jessica Weaver; Anthony Malave

Texas authorities accuse an Indiana woman of "repeatedly ignoring" her 3-year-old son before he drowned in a water park earlier this year.

The drowning occurred around 5 p.m. on May 13 at the Camp Cohen Water Park in El Paso, which Anthony Malave, 3, visited with his 35-year-old mother Jessica Weaver for the park's soft opening.

According to a police complaint affidavit obtained by PEOPLE, the boy was found by a lifeguard in four feet of water and transported to the hospital, where he died.

Investigators spoke to numerous witnesses who alleged Weaver was not paying attention to her son before he drowned, according to the affidavit.

One of the witnesses allegedly told police that she observed “a person matching the description of the defendant” sitting outside the pool “by herself on her phone, never looking up or paying attention to anything.”

Another witness recalled, per the affidavit, “seeing the mother singing along to a song that was playing and she was laying down, looking at her phone approximately seven minutes before the child/victim was getting pulled out of the water.”

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A third witness allegedly said the boy was swimming unattended and not wearing a life jacket.

“She found it odd for a child/victim to be that young in the pool without floating devices, and unattended by a parent,” according to the affidavit.

There were about 466 people at the waterpark on the day of the drowning, “leaving numerous life vests available for those in attendance,” the affidavit states.

In June, Weaver filed a one-million-dollar negligence and wrongful death civil lawsuit against the City of El Paso and the entertainment company hired to run the park, alleging that on the day of her son’s drowning, the water park was “severely understaffed and that the few lifeguards on duty were undertrained and had no idea what they were doing.”

“Conveniently, the video footage – which Defendant City of El Paso was responsible for maintaining – was destroyed,” according to the suit obtained by PEOPLE.

The boy died, according to the lawsuit, because of “collective negligent and grossly negligent conduct.”

Weaver was arrested in September and is facing a charge of injury to a child by omission, but the El Paso District Attorney’s office has yet to file the charges against Weaver.

“Investigators were able to establish a detailed account of the events leading to the unfortunate outcome,” El Paso Police said in a press release. “It was determined that the child’s death resulted from neglectful and careless actions and a failure to care for the child properly.”

Weaver’s attorney Ryan MacLeod alleged in a statement to PEOPLE that the arrest of Weaver was done in retaliation for her lawsuit.

“Unfortunately, after Ms. Weaver filed a lawsuit against the City of El Paso, the retaliatory tactics against her commenced,” MacLeod's statement said. “It’s political and sad.  However, we are confident that through taking depositions and obtaining evidence as we have started to do now, the truth will prevail.”

The El Paso Times reported that Weaver was extradited from Indiana to Texas where she was booked and later released from the El Paso County Jail on Sept. 22.

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