A toddler who was left unattended for ‘a minute or so’ at bath time has sadly drowned.

Leila Sofia Riquelme, from Brisbane, was just a few weeks from turning two when she drowned in a bath at her grandfather’s in New Zealand where her family were visiting for a wedding.

He had left her for a matter of minutes while he attended to her four-year-old sister in March 2014, Daily Mail reports.

Mr Riquelme had left the door open and was listening out for trouble while the little girl bathed in the family’s room while on holidays at the Wellington Rydges Hotel.

However, he did not hear her drown.

New Zealand coroner Garry Evans has ruled the death an accident, stating that Mr Riquelme had taken precautions and done his best to revive his granddaughter once finding her body.

‘The facts of his very safe case illustrate again the importance of constant watchfulness over children in a water environment of any kind,’ his report said.

‘In this care Leila drowned within the space of one minute or so.’

So devastating for the family. It really does happen so quickly.

Share your comments below.

Image via getty.

  • I’m so sorry for this family. Tragedies like this are a good reminder to the rest of us to be more vigilent.


  • This is so heartbreaking. Poor grandfather mist be riddled with guilt. Thoughts with the family


  • Condolences to Leilas family. What a tragic accident. It can happen so quickly and does all too often :-(


  • So very sad. I can’t imagine the guilt the Grandad lives with everyday. At nearly 2 years of age, it’s easy to get complacent and think 1 minute will be fine but this is an important reminder that even 1 minute is too long to take your eyes off kids in the bath.


  • this is sad! 60 secs is not long and very terrifing to think of this poor child going through that. what a sad time for the family.


  • How sad. Its must be devastating for the family. As you say it only takes a minute. I feel for this poor family.


  • This is just heartbreaking. Never EVER take your eyes off children around water.


  • Little ones and water just dont mix. So very sad.


  • This is so sad and tragic. And I imagine poor Grandpa will never forgive himself. Truly sad and heartbreaking.


  • This is so sad .Poor grandad. I can honestly say that I have never left a baby or a small child unattended ever. If I was bathing one of my babies and the door bell went .I would yell out hang on a minute and would pick up the bub in wrap him or her in a towel then answer the door . It only takes 20 seconds for a toddler to drown. Never leave a toddler in the bath even after the plug has been removed.


  • Devastating :( its scary how short of a time it takes for a little person to drown.


  • This is tragic news but I was wondering why we have just heard about it since it happened in March 2014. Saying that, it wouldn’t have made any difference to how he must have felt.


  • That is so incredibly sad. My heart really goes out to the poor Granddad and entire family regarding this very tragic event. I think this is something we are all guilty of at least once or twice as life doesn’t always allow us to do what we need to be doing, especially when you have young children, there’s often some other “crisis” going on in the next room that needs your immediate attention too sadly. No one would expect such such a tragic outcome to occur in under 1 minute but hopefully this will at least serve as a timely reminder to us all and save countless other lives so her death was not in vain.


  • How tragic and sad ! My thought and prayers are with the family, especially with the granddad…this must be so hard to live with !


  • Firstly my condolences to the family. The grandfather will be feeling guilty forever. It only takes enough water to cover your nose and mouth and anyone can drown. This story just once again reminds us how important it is to not leave children unattended around water and I hope the many people reading this just presume it won’t happen to them because it can, it’s quick and quiet, so take care around water, always.


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