Boy, 3, Drowns in Motel Hot Tub : Tragedy: The victim and his brother went to pool area at the Garden Grove inn without adult supervision.


A 3-year-old boy drowned in a hot tub at an inn near Disneyland on Saturday after he and his 9-year-old brother went to the pool area without adult supervision, police and fire officials said.

The victim, Bryden Sanborn, who would have turned 4 on June 11, was found floating face down in a hot tub next to the swimming pool at the Cavalier Inn & Suites at 11811 Harbor Blvd. shortly before 3 p.m., according to Garden Grove Fire Capt. Steve Shirley. Hotel guests and paramedics attempted to resuscitate the child, but he never regained consciousness. The child was pronounced dead at AMI Medical Center of Garden Grove.

Garden Grove Police Lt. Ron Weigand said the victim’s mother, Patricia Sanborn, told Bryden and her other son, Narayan, 9, to don bathing suits and wait for her near the hot tub. Bryden was walking along the steps of the hot tub when Narayan and an unidentified 9-year-old child went into an adjacent pool.

Narayan “looked back and didn’t see his brother,” Weigand said. “He ran over and saw (his brother) at the the bottom of the Jacuzzi.”


Shirley said Bryden had already been pulled from the water and was surrounded by two unidentified hotel guests who were attempting to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation when he and two other paramedics arrived in response to a 911 call.

“I was making up a room on the second floor and when I came outside, I saw a little boy by the pool and they were pushing up and down on his chest,” said Saboor Ali, 22, a hotel employee.

One of the guests, a visitor from England whose identity was unknown, “pulled (Bryden) out and slapped him on the back,” Shirley said. “Copious amounts of water came out from his stomach and lungs, and the child had vomited, to make matters worse.”

Paramedics arrived moments later and took over the rescue efforts, Shirley said. On the way to scene, the fire officials flagged down the crew of a passing ambulance. The ambulance crew joined in the rescue efforts and rushed the child to the Garden Grove hospital while paramedics performed CPR.

“He never showed any improvement, despite any of the efforts to do CPR,” Shirley said. “His pupils were dilated and thick and never changed, and he had a very poor color from the onset.”

Shirley estimated that the boy had been in the water “longer than five or six minutes.”

Shirley said that Patricia Sanborn told him that the family was on a trip to Disneyland from Willits, about 150 miles north of San Francisco. Through her tears, Shirley said, the mother told him that she had briefly left the children alone in the pool area, located in the center of the motel parking lot.

Patricia Sanborn, who answered the door of her motel room Saturday evening holding an infant while her other son slept, declined comment. Shortly before the drowning, there was another family--a mother and father with two children--at the pool, along with the victim’s family, consisting of Bryden, his mother and brother, and all were dressed in bathing suits, Shirley said. “My initial response was, ‘How in the world can this happen with all these people around the pool?’ Then she said that all the adults had left the pool.

“The mom’s words were, ‘I only left for just a minute,’ ” Shirley continued. “Then she would get real distraught and revert back to praying. It might have seemed like only a minute to her, but it could have been 10 minutes.”

The children of the other couple, who also were not identified, were about 7 or 8 years old, Shirley said. “They (the children) said they could swim, but I still don’t think they should be left alone, even if they are swimmers.”

Shirley added that the pool was clearly marked by signs informing bathers that there was no lifeguard on duty and warning against leaving children unattended.

Bryden’s death was the 13th drowning in Orange County this year, and the second accident at a pool in Garden Grove in as many weeks. A year-old infant, Evan Vuong, nearly drowned after he fell into his parents’ pool on April 28. He was revived by paramedics and remains hospitalized at Childrens Hospital of Orange County.

Staff writer Tammerlin Drummond contributed to this story.