Police, Feds Investigating Case of Teen’s Bathtub Death

July 12, 2017 12:30 pm Last Updated: July 12, 2017 2:05 pm

New Mexico police are investigating whether a Texas teen was electrocuted after she grabbed her cellphone while she was in the bathtub.

Detective Sgt. David Miranda of the Lovington Police Department said that 14-year-old Madison Coe, who died Sunday while visiting her father, likely was electrocuted to death, CBS reported.

An autopsy is pending. Miranda said that no cause of death has officially been established.

A cellphone, a charging cord, and an extension cord were discovered by the bathtub, Miranda added.

“While initial evidence shows signs consistent with that of electrocution, no cause of death will be announced pending the conclusion of an investigation by the Lovington Police Department and determination of the cause and manner of death by the Officer of the Medical Investigator,” police said in a statement.

The federal U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, meanwhile told NBC News that it is looking into the death. The agency bans dangerous consumer products, establishes safety requirements for other consumer products, issues recalls of products already on the market, and looks into potential hazards associated with consumer products.

The family told KRQE that her Samsung Edge Plus fell into the bathtub while she was in it. Felisha Owens, Madison’s stepmother, said the girl spent hours in the bathtub.

“[Her father] found her. He had knocked on the door to tell her it was time to get out [of the tub] and she said, ‘OK,'” her biological mother Angela O’Guinn-Downs told People. “He went back 20 minutes later, she didn’t respond and he went in.”

“It’s not uncommon for her to spend two hours to two and a half hours in the bathtub,” Owens told KRQE.

“The bathroom is a place for showers and personal time and your phones don’t belong in the bathroom,” Owens said. “Electricity and water do not mix. All it takes is a drop.” 

Reports say she had recently graduated from 8th grade and was set to start high school.

A GoFundMe was started for the girl, raising $10,400 as of Wednesday morning.

It reads:

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the loss of Madison Coe. Our hearts go out to her family during this difficult time. Madison was 14 years old when she was killed in the bath tub by electricity. She was a shining star and a light for all. Madison enjoyed helping others before she would help herself. My wife Crystal and I started this gofundme page with the permission of Zachary Coe (her father) and Felisha Owens (her step-mother) on July 10, 2017 with the intentions to assist the family with any costs they may endure during this time (i.e. medical, memorial, and time lost from work).”

“The Coe family are close family friends as well as a fellow firefighter. On behalf of Zachary and Felisha, I am personally working with them to ensure all their expenses are covered so they may worry about coping with the loss and not the money. All proceeds will be directly accessible to the family. Any support given would be greatly appreciated.”