Of­fi­cers tried to res­cue tragic tot

Po­lice jumped in freez­ing river to free trapped girl

Carmarthen Journal - - Front Page - ROB HARRIES

A PO­LICE of­fi­cer broke down in court as she de­scribed pulling a two-year-old girl’s body from a car after it had plunged into a river.

Kiara Moore died after be­ing re­cov­ered from her par­ents’ sil­ver Mini in the River Teifi in Cardi­gan on March 19, days before her third birth­day.

An in­quest yes­ter­day heard of­fi­cers waded into the freez­ing River Teifi in an at­tempt to save the lit­tle girl.

A PO­LICE of­fi­cer broke down in court as she de­scribed pulling a twoyear-old girl’s body from a car after it had plunged into a river.

Kiara Moore died after be­ing re­cov­ered from her par­ents’ sil­ver Mini in the River Teifi in Cardi­gan on March 19, days before her third birth­day.

An in­quest into her death yes­ter­day heard po­lice of­fi­cers waded into the freez­ing River Teifi in an at­tempt to save the lit­tle girl after they spot­ted the sub­merged ve­hi­cle.

PCSO Carol Grif­fiths told the in­quest at Aberys­t­wyth Jus­tice Cen­tre she had orig­i­nally been told a car had been stolen with a “three-year-old girl in­side” before she was alerted to a car sub­merged in the river.

She said: “I looked to the wa­ter and could see the ex­te­rior of a car pok­ing above the sur­face. I took off my stab vest, util­ity belt and boots.”

The of­fi­cer then paused giv­ing her ev­i­dence as she be­gan to cry, need­ing to com­pose her­self before con­tin­u­ing. She said: “The river was freez­ing cold and I could tell the cur­rent was very strong.

“I put my head un­der the wa­ter and it was re­ally dirty. The car was fully im­mersed with wa­ter.

“The pas­sen­ger win­dow was open slightly, about

10cm.”

PCSO Grif­fiths said she and an­other of­fi­cer used a ba­ton to smash one of the car’s win­dows open, which led to Kiara’s body float­ing out.

She said: “I then felt Kiara’s body. She floated out of the ve­hi­cle into my arms. She was wear­ing a pink jacket which matched the cloth­ing de­scribed by her mother. As we reached the river bank I took hold over her and low­ered her onto the floor, putting her gen­tly on the ground.

“Of­fi­cers be­gan CPR on her. All I re­mem­ber is stand­ing there look­ing at her body on the ground.”

The in­quest heard mother Kim Row­lands ini­tially feared the car had been stolen with Kiara in­side after she re­turned to find it miss­ing.

De­tec­tive Con­sta­ble Hannah Gar­ney said CCTV footage showed Miss Row­lands had left Kiara in­side the ve­hi­cle for two min­utes and one sec­ond while she went in­side her of­fice in an old scouts hall to re­trieve cash to go food shopping.

Dyfed-Powys Po­lice have pre­vi­ously said there would be no charges in re­la­tion to the “tragic in­ci­dent”.

Kiara’s fa­ther, Jet Moore, told the in­quest the of­fice for the ac­tiv­ity cen­tre the fam­ily ran was based on the slip road. Mr Moore said he was work­ing in Castle­martin that day and had left home be­tween 6am and 6.30am. Kiara and her mother were go­ing to spend the day at the of­fice in Cardi­gan.

He said they had had the Mini car for “about three years” and it had been reg­u­larly ser­viced with no prob­lems other than nor­mal wear and tear. He was not aware of any prob­lems with the hand­brake.

“It was of­ten parked on a steep hill and we didn’t have is­sues with it,” he said.

PC Gar­ney read a state­ment made by Kim Row­lands.

It said: “Some time around 3pm I got ready to leave. I un­locked the car and walked round to the pas­sen­ger side and loaded all Kiara’s things. I then put her in the car seat but didn’t fas­ten her seat.

“I closed her door and walked round to the driver’s door which I opened and as I did I re­alised my bank card had snapped. I took the card out and knew I didn’t have any food at home. I gave the card to Kiara and told her I would be two secs.

“The keys were ei­ther in the driver’s door or in the ig­ni­tion. I told Kiara I would be two sec­onds.

“I opened the pad­lock and went into the of­fice. I could hear Kiara in the car. When I left there was singing and shout­ing. I knelt down by the safe in the of­fice.

“I got a £10 note out and shut the door. I went out of the of­fice and put the pad­lock on. I could see that my car was gone.

“I was gone for about three min­utes. I went down to the river and couldn’t see any­thing. My next thought was that the car had been taken. I asked peo­ple if they’d seen any­thing.

“I di­alled 999 and told them my car had been taken with daugh­ter in­side. I looked ev­ery­where. I phoned my mum as I was pan­ick­ing.”

The coro­ner con­cluded Kiara’s death was a re­sult of mis­ad­ven­ture.

“In light of the ev­i­dence I dis­tin­guish one of mis­ad­ven­ture,” he said.

“A per­fectly law­ful set of cir­cum­stances has taken place which has led to death.”

Mr Brun­ton said to Kiara’s fam­ily that they have his deep­est sym­pa­thies and thanked them for go­ing to the in­quest.

Christ­mas count­down begins with pa­rade cel­e­bra­tions

Picture: Wales News Ser­vice

Kiara Moore was just days away from her third birth­day.

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