Sex offender found at home where toddler almost drowned

By: Mario Boone Email
By: Mario Boone Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- UPDATE: Two year old Aiden Martin, was brought back from the brink of death for the second time in his young life. It's a remarkable story of survival, rivaled only by the bizarre nature of his near drowning again in the very same pool, in less than a year.

And again investigators zeroed in on Aiden's babysitter, Jennifer Kitts, who wasn't charged the first time. I discovered Kitts operates an unlicensed daycare, which seems to be perfectly legal.

"You can have up to four children who are not your own, and babysit them, and not need a license," said Rob Johnson of the Tennessee Department of Children Services.

Apparently Kitts followed this guideline. But that didn't stop DCS from taking quick action this time around, removing Kitts' own three children from her custody. "In an abundance of caution, we've asked that they go stay with a relative while we look into this situation. And we've asked that there be no babysitting going on there for the time being," said Johnson.

While the city prays for Aiden, police sort through when and if anyone will face charges. "It's too early right now. We have a lot to do in our investigation," said Darrell DeBusk, spokesman for KPD.

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Authorities continue to investigate a toddler's near-drowning in west Knoxville on Monday, but have arrested one man who was wanted for a violation of the sex offender registry.

Officers found Tony Jackson, 51, at the home where 2 year-old Aiden Martin almost drowned. He was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant from the Oak Ridge Police Dept.

Williams, who was pulled from the same Knoxville pool in December, is now in critical condition at the Children's Hospital. He is being treated by the same doctors who treated him following similar incident at the same home last December when Aiden almost drowned after falling through ice while staying with the same babysitter.

He was staying with his babysitter, Jennifer Kitts, when a maintenance worker pulled him out of pool just after 4:00pm.

That maintenance worker started to administer CPR until an officer arrived and took over. Aiden finally started breathing fully on his own after arriving at the hospital. The worker believes Aiden must have walked out an open door and climbed into the pool.

Investigators have questioned both Kitts and the maintenance worker and have contacted the Department of Children's Services. Meanwhile, Kitts has handed over custody of her three kids to a relative and has stopped babysitting while the investigation continues.

They do not expect for charges to be filed until the case is turned over to the grand jury.


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  • by karen on Aug 22, 2011 at 05:11 PM
    The first time that this happen to the child the father asked the mother not to send the baby back to that baby sitter< but the mother said that the baby sitter was a good person the father even offered to send her money to put the baby back in a real day care but the mother refused to!!!
  • by Carrie Location: fountain city on Aug 17, 2011 at 11:14 PM
    Ok peeps lets clear the air the reason the mom has not spoke out yet is because she has not left aidens side.she is also a single mom who had applied for help so she could put him at a real daycare but was turned down... So please lets talk about the baby-sitter not the mom she is the one responsible were was she and what was more pressing that she had no idea were he was Remember a worker found him not the baby-sitter
  • by Carrie Location: fountain city on Aug 17, 2011 at 11:12 PM
    Ok peeps lets clear the air the reason the mom has not spoke out yet is because she has not left aidens side.she is also a single mom who had applied for help so she could put him at a real daycare but was turned down... So please lets talk about the baby-sitter not the mom she is the one responsible were was she and what was more pressing that she had no idea were he was Remember a worker found him not the baby-sitter
  • by anonymous Location: loudon on Aug 17, 2011 at 01:57 PM
    If I saw a swimming pool when leaving my 2 yr old I would have immediately looked somewhere else for a babysitter. Evidently this babysitter didn't have the time to watch a 2 yr old or perhaps the other children were elected to watch him. Also, why hasn't the mother been interviewed on tv? Does she not care? She must have nothing to say. I certainly would. Let's hope and pray this little boy survives and his life will be better in the future.
  • by Jerry Location: Knoxville on Aug 17, 2011 at 11:27 AM
    Remove the child from that environment so it will have a chance to live it's life.
  • by Linda Location: Knoxville on Aug 16, 2011 at 12:14 PM
    Wonder if the sex offender had anything to do with the near drowning? Let's see here, babysitter was irresponsible in how many ways? near drowning twice and housing a sex offender in a daycare setting. Who in this world would allow a child to go into a setting like that? Those parents should have been noticing things. The whole situation reeks of total irresponsibility and care for children. Shame on the provider and parents for not knowing they were exposing their children to major risk.
  • by Michael Location: Oak Ridge,Tn. on Aug 16, 2011 at 11:41 AM
    Well, Someone that was in charge of this child should be charged with Child-Neglect and Abuse. Take child-care Responsibility and don't let happen again to another child like what happened to Casey Anthony,s child.....Show Resposibility!
  • by Anonymous on Aug 16, 2011 at 11:19 AM
    Parents should be charged with child endangerment. It is a shame to see the child suffer for no reason. Not fair to the child and the parents can get away with it. Our prayers are with the child hopefully he will be ok.
  • by caroline Location: knoxville on Aug 16, 2011 at 10:59 AM
    This child is doomed if it is not put into a safe environment. Maybe the drowning was not accidental.
  • by Concerned Location: Knoxville on Aug 16, 2011 at 09:28 AM
    How many times does your baby have to almost drown in the same pool at the same babysitter's house before you get concerned? First time, I would have taken a long look at who was "watching" my child!!
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