Teen swimmer’s ‘bizarre’ drowning under investigation

Washington County

Hillsboro police want to know when the 14-year-old girl drowned

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Investigators were trying to piece together answers a day after a teen swimmer drowned in a Hillsboro pool.

Nabila Maazouz was found underwater at the Shute Park Aquatic and Recreation Center around 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Medics from Hillsboro Fire and Rescue tried to resuscitate her but she died.

The 14-year-old was a student at Oregon Episcopal School and a member of the Liberty High School swim team.

Investigators returned to the pool on Thursday to try to figure out the circumstances that led to Nabila’s death.

Hillsboro Police Department Sgt. Eric Bunday told KOIN 6 News members of the swim team covered the pool with a tarp at the end of their practice on Wednesday night.

“What happens is the swimmers swim the tarp from one end to the other to close the pool at that time the swimmers got out,” he said. “They went into the facility to change and started to head home.”

Bunday said the team then noticed Nabila was missing so they started to look for her. He said a lifeguard found her at the bottom of the north end of the pool about 20 to 25 minutes later.

“Right now, we don’t know whether she was in the pool when the tarp was pulled over her or if she was out of the pool and got into it after the fact the tarp had been put over it. That’s the biggest question we are seeking to answer,” Bunday said.

He added there was no indication of foul play in Nabila’s drowning.

“We don’t have any indication of anyone hearing anything — any sounds of a struggle or anything like that,” said Bunday.

He said Nabila was seen by her coaches and teammates actively taking part in swim practice on Wednesday evening. Bunday called her drowning a “heartbreaking tragedy for everyone involved.”

“This is the worst kind of call imaginable. Not one of us wants to come to something like this. It hurts, it’s hard to see,” he said.

Community members have questions of their own as investigators work to piece together the puzzle.

“It’s pretty unbelievable,” said Diane Gudmundsen who lives near the aquatic center. “The way the whole thing went down seems really bizarre to me; how no one can notice.”

The Hillsboro School District shared the following statement with KOIN 6 News on Thursday:

“The Hillsboro School District is shocked and saddened by the tragic drowning death of Oregon Episcopal School freshman and Liberty High School Swim Team member Nabila Maazouz. Specially-trained counselors and mental health specialists from the District’s Flight Team have been present at both Liberty and OES today, providing support to students and staff. 

Any death, even if the person wasn’t known to you, can bring up feelings and emotions related to other losses such as shock, sadness, anxiety and anger. We are encouraging parents to check in with their children today to see how they are feeling, and to refer to the grief and loss resources on our website for more information about how to support their child during this difficult time.

Our hearts are broken for the Maazouz family. Our deepest condolences go out to them and to Nabila’s friends, classmates, and all who knew her.”

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