Coroner: Two-year-old dies from accidental drowning

A 2-year-old Columbus toddler drowned Friday in a family pool on County Line Road, according to the Muscogee County Coroner’s Office.

Lylah Gavulic was found face down in the pool Friday afternoon and pronounced dead at Midtown Medical Center about 5 p.m., Coroner Buddy Bryan said. The body was sent to Atlanta for an autopsy and the death was ruled an accidental drowning, Bryan said.

Columbus Police are investigating, said Maj. Gil Slouchick, who said he expected the coroner’s ruling to be confirmed. “Any time there’s the death of a child not under doctor’s care the law requires we investigate it.”

The mother left the room while the child, the youngest children, was watching television, the coroner said. When the mother returned, the child had gone outside and was found unresponsive in the pool, according to the coroner.

It is the second tragedy to strike the Gavulic family in about 13 months. The baby’s father, Master Sgt. Josh Gavulic, died on Feb. 21, 2014, during a parachute training accident in Arizona.

Gavulic, a 16-year-veteran with 10 deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, was assigned to the 17th Special Tactics Squadron at Fort Benning. As a member of the Special Tactics Squadron, Gavulic’s unit was attached to support the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning.