Nearly a month after her daughter died, a Valley mother is breaking her silence and hoping someone is held accountable.
Ashley Nichols remembers the phone call that alerted her there had been an accident. Shortly thereafter, she learned her 16-month-old daughter, Allie, had died after being pulled from a backyard pool.
"It didn't feel real; it still doesn't," Nichols said.
According to Peoria Police, the incident happened at the home where the child's father lives, near 83rd Avenue and Thunderbird Road.
Peoria Police say a family member found the child in the water and immediately began life-saving efforts until officials arrived. Nichols does not live there and says she wants someone involved with the incident to be held accountable.
"I feel like someone should be responsible and held responsible for it," she said. "There's no reason for that to happen. There's no excuse."
Peoria police told ABC15 there were multiple people at the home when the incident occurred on the morning of Aug. 25. While video from the scene shows a fence around the pool, authorities have not said how the child wound up in the water and are awaiting autopsy results before determining a cause of death.
While police continue to investigate all aspects of the incident, Nichols says this should serve as a reminder to all parents to ensure gates and doors surrounding pools are closed and locked at all times.
"It happens, your kids get out of your view," Nichols said. "Even if you're the best parent in the world, your kids get out of your view and you can't always control everything but I think people need to be more careful and realize that just not latching a pool gate is a big deal."
According to Peoria Police, the incident remains under investigation and charges are still possible in the case.