A woman who is a resident at the Durham, North Carolina apartment complex, Audobon Lake Apartments, where Earp lives and serves as a courtesy officer, heard 29-year-old Alan Tysheen Eugene Lassiter walking around a community pond stating that his son had “run off” and that his daughters were in trouble.
Durham Police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said Wednesday that the girl had died. Lassiter is being held on a $2m bond and is waiting for his next court date in October.
Durham police officers received a call about a disturbance even before Lassiter’s 911 call.
The couple has a 7-year-old son as well, according to the News Observer, but that child was allegedly able to escape while his father was drowning his sisters.
Durham County Sheriff’s Deputy David Earp was off duty and says he rushed out with little more than his department T-shirt, badge and flashlight after the apartment manager called him at home around 9 p.m. Sunday to report some kind of trouble.
In a 911 call released by police, a man who identified himself as the children’s father said he had drowned his two daughters in a lake near an apartment complex. Police say the boy ran away from his father and was seeking help. Lassiter also told Scott his missing son had been kidnapped. Lassiter reportedly stood nearby smoking a cigarette as Earp rescued the girls, before becoming distraught and wailing: “What have I done?” Statements made by the boy to police prompted a third attempted murder charge, the chief said. “I knew she was terrified, and I just took her off and didn’t want her to be around her sister”, he said.
“It plays over in my mind a lot, as I’m sure with any person”, Earp said.
He added, “When it was all going on, I had tunnel vision”. The 3-year-old was found fully submerged in the water, while the 5-year-old was found floating.
Earp, 26, recounted how he finally pulled the girl from the water before performing CPR until paramedics arrived on the scene. During the call he told a dispatcher that officials had tried to take his children away as he dealt with a “personal” problem.
Ashley Ivey sought a domestic violence protection order and signed a statement May 15, 2009, that said Lassiter “threatened to throw hot oil in my face and cut my hair off”.