Monday, July 13, 2009

Andrew Gomez Drowns 18-month-old

18-year-old Andrew Gomez has been charged with the murders of Tiffany Sykes-Cecconi and her 18-month-old daughter, Kaylani.

Police made the announcement official in a Sunday afternoon news conference, hours after first reported Gomez had been booked on murder charges.

On Friday, an autopsy declared their deaths a drowning.

Sykes-Cecconi and her daughter died last Wednesday following an incident at a pool in The Cove just off University Boulevard. Gomez was also found at the pool naked, having ingested a large amount of pool water. He was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.

Lt. Larry Schmitt says detectives interviewed Gomez in the hospital.

Schmitt says the fact that Gomez was the only other person at the pool at the time of the deaths made him a suspect.

According to the police report, the only weapons used in the crime were Gomez's hands and feet.

Schmitt would not disclose the details of the statement Gomez gave police, but Gomez was charged immediately after he was interviewed.

Gomez, a longtime friend of Cecconi, remains in stable condition at the hospital at this time, and police say he will be taken to jail--without bond--as soon as he is released.

Gomez was a long-time friend of Cecconi. Two days ago, a friend of the man told First Coast News Gomez loved Tiffany and her baby and would have always been there for him.

Neighbors and friends of Cecconi had many questions surrounding the nature of the deaths.

Laurie Juhan is the mother of Sykes-Cecconi's best friend.

Juhan told First Coast News Tiffany's mother went to the neighborhood pool in the Cove subdivision Wednesday morning to check on her daughter and granddaughter because it started to rain.

When she got there, Juhan said Sykes-Cecconi's mother saw Gomez naked, in the pool, with his arms stretched out and in a daze. Juhan said Sykes-Cecconi's mother wondered why the man didn't help.

But neighbor Bill Reynolds did. He rushed over during the chaos.

"A lady flagged me down," said Reynolds. "I jumped out of the car. The baby was on the ground. The baby's grandmother was trying to do CPR. They shouted the daughter was still up at the pool area. I ran over. There was a young man in the pool standing with his arms outstretched, naked in the pool."

Police will not say whether Gomez was under the influence while at the pool Wednesday, nor have they released details as to why the man was naked.

First Coast News spoke with Andrew Gomez's mother Sunday afternoon, who says she is devastated and shocked by her son's arrest. She says she does not know what her son could have told police at the hospital, because she was under the impression her son was heavily sedated.

Gina Cameron, Kaylani's paternal grandmother, says her family, too, is devastated. She says her son, Kaylani's dad and Tiffany's estranged husband are mourning the deaths. Cameron says their family is praying for the family of Andrew Gomez.

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