HARRISBURG, Pa. - Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico announced charges against three people connected with the drowning of a 3-year-old girl in Lower Swatara Township in July.
Tiffany Graham, 22, Austin Biller, 18, and Craig Biller, 53, were arrested and charged Tuesday for the death of the girl, who was Graham's daughter. Austin Biller was her uncle and Craig Biller was her grandfather.
"This is a tragedy," Marsico said. "We take no joy in charging family members with involuntary manslaughter for the death of their daughter."
According to Lower Swatara Township police, the girl wandered away from a home on the 2000 block of West Harrisburg Pike on the morning of July 31 and went to an above-ground pool at a home on the 100 block of Wayne Avenue, where the girl drowned.
Graham and Austin Biller face involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment charges, after a lock at the home was not locked, allowing the girl to wander away. Craig Biller faces hindering apprehension and evidence tampering charges after police accused him of taking the girl's clothing and refusing to turn it over to police.
Court records indicate this was not the first time the girl had wandered away from home. Authorities say there were at least five separate instances of the girl being found away from any guardians.
"The history of this young girl wandering away required that those that took care of her take better steps to ensure that something like this didn't happen," Marsico said.
Graham and Craig Biller had been charged with child endangerment before in connection with those instances. Graham had completed a mandated parenting class, according to court records.
"The individuals had been on notice, not just from the young girl walking away, but being charged before," Marsico said. "They had to do better, and they didn't. They failed that little girl, which made this a tragedy."
Graham and Craig Biller are in Dauphin County Prison on $200,000 bail, while Austin Biller remains in custody on $10,000 bail. All three face a preliminary hearing on December 22nd.