Body Was In Fall River Pool During Two Visits By Inspectors

FALL RIVER (CBS) — It’s a mystery as murky as the water at Veteran’s Memorial swimming pool in Fall River public pool: how did swimmers, lifeguards, or inspectors not notice a woman’s body at the bottom of the pool for a few days?

Marie Joseph, 36, was last seen at the pool on Sunday. The pool was open to the public Monday and Tuesday with six lifeguards on duty, and no one noticed the body under 12 feet of water.

On Thursday, Fall River’s mayor revealed “that health inspectors from the City visited the pool on Monday and on Tuesday and inspected the facilities,” which was during the time that Joseph’s body was believed to be in the water.

Update: Fall River Pool So Murky, Couldn’t See Diver 4′ Underwater

Joseph’s body was finally found Tuesday night when some kids broke into the pool area.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports.

State regulations say the water at public pools has to be checked for calrity and bacteria every hour, but the water at the Fall River pool was so cloudy, no one saw the body.

“The only thing of note in the inspection report is that the inspector did indicate that the pool water was cloudy,” said Mayor William Flanagan of Fall River.

The director of the American Lifeguard Association told WBZ-TV that you should be able to see the main drain cover in the deep end. But on Wednesday, the drain cover could not be seen on SkyEye aerial shots of the pool.

fallriverpool Body Was In Fall River Pool During Two Visits By Inspectors

Marie Joseph's body was found in this Fall River pool Tuesday night.

The mayor said Thursday that those city inspectors who visited the pool have been placed on administrative leave. The entire pool staff has also been placed on leave by the state.

Investigators have said that on Sunday, 36-year-old Joseph went down a slide with a 9-year-old boy and was never seen again.

“We’re not certain about anything other than the fact that we have a death and that this person was at the pool, and what took place with respect to the slide. Everything beyond that is absolutely under investigation,” said Samuel Sutter, the Bristol District Attorney.

“The pool’s always packed, somebody should have come by and ended up seeing something,” said one neighbor.

Officials did note that after testing, they are certain that swimmers who used the pool Monday or Tuesday do not face any health risks.

In the meantime, police and state officials have closed down all 30 of its deep-water, public swimming pools as officials try to figure out what happened.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports.

“It’s just hard to absorb,” said Gov. Deval Patrick. “We don’t have the facts yet and we will get them through the DA and our own investigation.”

State officials said they hope to re-open most state pools, with the exception of the one in Fall River, by Friday in anticipation of the long holiday weekend.

  • al4624

    are you kidding me?! great lifegaurds!! probably too busy texting away to notice…

    • shizzle

      you mean Sexting….

      • Teddy Kennedy's SEARCH+RESCUE

      • fizzle

        You mean eating a pickle and peanut butter sandwhich with extra hot sauce!!

    • acrimonious

      Spoken like a true Republican.

    • Edge

      Get over yourselves, both of you.

    • Ashley

      PPPPAAAALEAAAASE anyeone who knows anything about politics knows that any PUBLIC FUNDED pool iis not something high on a republicans list. hence, if the city WAS run by republicans, there probably would have been a stuffed doll serving as a “life guard” so they could cut costs.

      dont even go there

      • Joe

        Anyone who knows anything about politics knows the overwhelming majority of politicians in Massachusetts are democrats.

    • bill

      Ashley, Please go back and take spelling again. Your government funded GED is not doing you any good. You seem to be a good loyal DEM…..

    • Ashley

      oh bill.. you are pretty funny. But i went to a private high school and college.. so you struck out there.. care to keep up slinging comments with no basis?

      • Bill

        Ashley, I am sorry you took it the hard way. On you first email, 8% of the comment was mis-spelled our typo. Going to the private high school and college, you should request 8% of your money back; or at least your governement fund grants should request the 8% back. Please list the schools you attended so the readers know what school not to send their kids.

      • Bill

        Ashley, a little bit of a test, can you find the 2 typos on mine.

      • Jimbo Limbo

        “…so the readers know what school not to send their kids.” Did you think that the readers were actually considering sending a school to their children? That’s impractical.

    • Muf fLuver

      Ashley…..Private school, huh? More like a magnet school for hellions. Did you go to JC or Rockos School of Typewriter Repair?

      • Ashley

        okay your name is muf fluver.. not even going to notice what you wrote after you chose a name like that..

    • Joey

      How on earth could the family leave without her after the 9 year old said she went down the slide and didn’t come back up?

      The fact that NO ONE, lifeguards, inspectors, people using the pool didn’t see her. This isn’t a pen or jewelry, you can’t miss a person. It really sounds like something really shady is going on. The first thing I’d do is check out the family. It just doesn’t make sense.

      • RYAN


      • rio

        Agreed, I thought the same thing. Wouldn’t the 9 year old be looking for her? Something is very fishy with a family leaving without a mother; how does that happen and nothing is reported?

  • dzer

    Did the family report her missing Sunday when she didn’t leave the pool with them? All sounds so fishy to me…

    • Mitch

      Yes they did. The little boy told the life guards that she went down the slide with him and never came up. The life guards never even did a search.Try actually reading about all of the facts before playing arm chair detective.

      • at

        A child telling the lifeguards is not the family telling the police that the woman has been missing for two days. How did the kid get home? Why was no one there concerned?
        How was it the kids broke into the pool at night? Was it because someone had just dumped the body there and broken a lock that let the kids in?
        I understand this is an investigation in progress, and that sometimes really odd things really do happen, but this strains credulity as written.

      • NEVER FORGET...

    • Wildcow

      That was exactly what I was thinking. Where is the family?

    • 789

      Marie Joseph lived alone, and no one was expecting her to be somewhere on Sunday night. She was not at the pool with family but with neighbors and after waiting for her they assumed that there was a misunderstanding and they went home.
      She was reported missing to the Fall RIver Police on Monday.

  • Cameron

    Maybe she was drowned somewhere else and they threw her in the pool to make it look like she died there. How can you not see someone floating in a pool that long? It sounds impossible that atleast the first person there to open up wouldnt have noticed…

    • sheryl

      Actually a body doesn’t float until the decomposition is along enough so that gas is produced — she likely was not floating on the first two days, but rather was down 12 on the bottom of the pool. Later, the decomposition gases caused her body to float.

    • bill

      Did you not read the story????????????????

  • Tom


  • sean

    didnt she go with family to the pool?? they never filed a missing persons report and never mentioned on the news at least that they were wondering where she was…something isn’t right

    • thatgirl

      She took the neighbor’s little boy to the pool and has 5 kids of her own (who were at home or somewhere else). I’m assuming she’s a single mom who didn’t have another adult at home to report her missing.

      • Bruce

        OK, You are so smart. If she is a single mother of 5. Where, were her 5 kids? Didn’t they report Mommy not being around. This is FISHY!!

      • cube

        Her own five children must’ve been elsewhere. Can you imagine a mother taking a neighbor’s kid to the pool and not bringing her’s along too? This whole story stinks on many levels.

  • Public = Yucky « Blog

    […] Was the body was in the pool during two visits by government inspectors? (Thanks again, Travis) Bookmark/Share | Suggest a Link « […]

  • Floyd Lloyd

    Where was Casey Anthony when this happened???

    • Tom Thumb

      Nice one.

  • Robin

    I KNEW it before I saw it.

  • batcat

    The inspectors must have left their white canes back at the office.

  • Ed

    How is this possible? How incompetent are these people?

  • AB

    It wasn’t until Tuesday night, when some kids broke into the Veteran’s Memorial swimming pool and found Joseph’s body floating in the pool.

    Post says it all folks… she wasn’t in the pool for two days. She was drown somewhere and the body moved when some kids broke into the VM Swimming Pool. Stop over-reacting and open all of the pools back up.

    • Mitch

      Wow! Ron White said it all- You can’t fix stupid. Tell me where did you get your degree in criminal justice, at Walmart? The pool was cloudy and her body was in twelve feet of water. Your post says help me I’m ignorant.

      • Tony

        Mitch, you’re an idiot who has no clue what he’s talking about. 12 Feet isn’t that deep at all. I grew up with a 12 foot deep pool and I was always able to see the drain at the bottom. And the water being a little cloudy isn’t going to make it hard to see. If the water was THAT cloudy they definitely shouldn’t have been swimming in it because there is something else wrong with the water.

        It’s also hard to believe that nobody patronizing the pool saw the body in those 2 days, no matter how cloudy it is. I think it’s patently obvious that the body wasn’t there the whole time and was dumped there Tuesday after hours.

  • navyguns

    And the 9 year didn’t notice? She was killed somewhere else and dumped in the pool sometime later. Any other explanation defies logic and reality.

    • thatgirl

      The 9 year old did notice and reported it to a lifeguard who did nothing (according to another news story).

  • Outraged

    You should apply, Sailordude. I’m sure they have a space for the mentally handicapped.

  • Boston_Tom

    Did the “inspectors” even show up at the pool or just check off that they had? Sounds more like a no-show job to me. But….. just how murky is this pool to not be able to see to the bottom in broad daylight? Something really reeks about this whole mess.

  • Sean

    Government at it’s finest. Wait until they run everything in our lives…. Why did they not listen to the 9 year old when they told them she did not come up as told in another article about this incident? I almost hope this was some kind of foul play just so I can be at ease about Government efficiencies. Heaven help us all.

    • noballoffire

      Lifeguards are not agents of local government.

      Yes, the inspectors are, but the kid reported to the lifeguards.

    • John Patricio

      Think about it this way. If it wasn’t for the local government there would be no public pools at all in Fall River. Permanently closing down all the city pools would be very efficient.

  • TerriBoston

    What about the little girl that she was with? Qhy didn’t she go to someone & say “my mommy just went down the water slide in the pool & now I can’t find her!”. Who took this little girl home? Wasn’t her stuff on the ground? Something really weird here.

    • thatgirl

      It was a little boy and he did notify a lifeguard who didn’t do anything.

  • Oblivious Swimmers Fail to Notice Dead Body in Public Pool for 2 Days | HyperVocal

    […] Here’s the craziest part: “The mayor of Fall River says ‘that health inspectors from the City visited the pool on Monday and on Tuesday and inspected the facilities,’ which was during the time that body was believed to be in the water,” according to CBS Boston. […]

  • Sheesh

    are the TSA running pool security these day?

  • Harleyxx

    That’s government workers for you. They probably took a nap in their car while they were suppose to be doing their job.

  • bubbles

    don’t you just love “administrative leave”, the place where union protected losers go to collect full pay while they wait for their protectors to make up enough excuses to get them reinstated, sigh

  • Walt Campbell

    At our public pools, every half hour the pool is cleared so the life guards can look for people in distress that might be ignored with all the noise and splashing. To have the pool closed for the day and none of the life guards noticing a person on the bottom is beyond comprehension.

    There’s more the to the story.

    • 789

      The pool was so cloudy that you could not see your feet if you were standing in 4 ft of water. It was milky.

      The water in pools is only clear because the pool is constantly maintained, pH adjusted, etc.. Turbidity usually leads to pool closure if these things are not properly done.

  • Marbran

    The ONLY possibility that fits this story is if the water was so murky that the bottom could not be seen. That would explain why the inspectors are on administrative leave – for not shutting down a pool that filthy. Otherwise, there is no way she drowned at that location. It is impossible not to notice someone in there for three days. Swimmers would have noticed; lifeguards would have noticed; pool cleaners would have noticed. So going with a murky pool, why didn’t anyone listen to the 9-y.o. when he reported the woman didn’t come up.

    • Marbran

      Ah! See the picture at the link in the first sentence. The 12-foot section is very murky. You can see how murky the shallower section is by the faded swim lane lines painted on the bottom. Why didn’t anyone listen to the kid who reported that she didn’t come up???

  • Finbar

    Administrative leave? Until they figure out how they missed the dead body in the pool? Then what? Reassign them to the TSA?

    • Finbar

      Wait! I just thought of something. Was the “dead body in pool” box checked on the inspection report?

  • Rocco

    Wait a minute! Some over paid, useless government inspector didn’t do his job?! I’m speechless….

  • John R.

    you can not see a body at the bottom of a pool due to the prism effect of the water. A body sinks for a few days due to water in the lungs then as the bacteria let off enough gas it floats. A kid was at the bottom of a pool with police looking for him in the pool and didn’t se him until later in the day someone went in to look from underwater. It happens. Swimming is fun but it can be deadly. Never swim alone, even in a crowded pool.

    • Kris H.

      That story happened her in CA. Bottom of the pool was murky due to disintegrating plaster. Pool owners got their pants sued off for not maintaining their property and “killing” that boy. There is no way you can miss a body in a clean pool. I can see a CRICKET at the bottom of mine right now.

      • OBAMA = FRAUD

      • beaches

        I totally agree. Who would even want to go in that pool! This is really fishy.

    • Marbran

      John R., a clean, clear pool is completely visible to the bottom. What is this ‘prism effect’ you speak of?

    • Who is John Galt

      LOL How can one “swim alone in a crowded pool?

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