A Des Moines man is facing charges after his infant daughter drowned in a bathtub. Police Sergeant Lori Lavorato says officers were called to Blank Hospital Thursday night and were told 30-year-old Dustin Nyonee’s 20-month-old daughter, Celine, was dead upon arrival.
Nyonee reportedly told hospital staff that the infant was in the bathtub with her two siblings, ages 6 and 3. "We spoke with the children and we found that the 20-month-old became submerged under the water," Lavorato said. "I think the other two children got scared, didn’t know what to do and got out of the bathtub."
According to the police report, the three children were taking a bath without supervision. "The 6-year-old drained the water from the bathtub, picked up her little sister, wrapped her in a blanket and took her into a bedroom," Lavorato said. "Afterward, she went downstairs to get her father."
It’s believed the 6-year-old waited 30 minutes before notifying her father about the situation. Nyonee told investigators he was downstairs on a computer. "We found out that this was kind of a normal thing, that the 6-year-old kind of tends to the other children as opposed to the father. She’s kind of the caretaker," Lavorato said.
The mother of the children was at work at the time. Nyonee is facing three counts of child endangerment, one of which is a felony offense due to the death of the infant in his care. The two additional counts are for leaving the other children unattended while he went to the hospital. Lavorato says the Department of Human Services is "actively involved" with the welfare of the two surviving children.