NEW ORLEANS - Both a 7-year-old girl and a man who turned 24 on Saturday were found dead at the bottom of a Mid-City hotel pool on Saturday night.
The girl was Jeryonna Austin, and the man was Jermaine Roberts, said Jason Melancon, a spokesman for the New Orleans Coroner's Office.
Multiple relatives of the victims on Monday told The New Orleans Advocate that Jeryonna was Roberts' daughter, but Melancon said he couldn't comment on whether the two were related.
Melancon said authorities will need to wait for the results of toxicology tests and other similar exams before a cause and manner of death can be determined for either Jeryonna or Roberts.
On social media, a woman identifying herself as Roberts' sister and Jeryonna's aunt said she had recently mourned the death of another brother and couldn't bear the news about what happened on Saturday night.
"I don't want to say goodbye," a post on the woman's Facebook page said. "Please bring them back to me. ... Please somebody tell me this is a dream."
Just hours earlier, that woman had wished Roberts a happy birthday and said she hoped he enjoyed himself on his special day.
Staff at the Midtown Hotel in the 3900 block of Tulane Avenue discovered Jeryonna and Roberts unresponsive under the pool water about 9 p.m. Saturday, police said.
Hotel manager Marvin Dodd on Monday said Roberts was registered as a guest but that Jeryonna was not.
He declined to discuss the case at length, and police said there were no new details to share.
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