Yakima woman swam in pool where man drowned

SEATTLE -- A Yakima woman has a memory she hopes she will one day forget. She was in Seattle when a WSU graduate student drowned in a hotel pool. The 27-year-old man's body was hidden in the water while people splashed above him.

Imagine swimming in a pool with someone dead at the bottom of it. And, you have no idea. It happened to MyLisa Blevins.

"There were people screaming, his sister was screaming," said MyLisa. "She didn't even sound human. She just kept screaming no over and over again. She was on her knees, on the floor."

MyLisa was staying at a Seattle hotel for the annual Pride Parade. She was with friends in the pool when they were asked to leave.

"So you didn't notice anything wrong with the water when you were swimming in it?" KIMA asked.
"Well, that's the thing," said MyLisa. "It wasn't discolored in any dirty, the colors we connect with being dirty."

But, murky water is being blamed for the fact no one spotted Tesfaye Deboch for hours. An initial search of the pool came up empty when someone spotted him flailing in the water. A hotel guest who happened to be a firefighter found the body using a pole. MyLisa was stunned.

"After I knew how long he'd been down there, I know there'd be no chance we could've saved him but I felt pretty horrible that we hadn't known he was down there," said MyLisa.

She called it one of the most traumatic experiences of her life. And, is still coming to grips that she was swimming in the pool for an hour before knowing the body was there.

"They were pulling him out of the pool and that's when his sister just dropped to the ground and it was, it's something that will stay with me," said MyLisa.

It's a memory that will now make her think twice before using a hotel or public pool again.

Authorities shut down the hotel pool after the drowning. A separate inspection after the drowning found ten violations.