Parents plead guilty in the drowning death of their 3-year-old daughter

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LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – The parents of a 3-year-old Lancaster County girl who drowned in her family’s backyard swimming pool in April 2017 pleaded guilty to charges related to the girl’s death. 

Susie L. Rehm, 39, pleaded guilty to felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and endangering a child. As part of her plea deal, she will serve one to two years in prison, followed by four years of probation. 

Geoffrey A. Bussard, 45, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of endangering a child. He will be on probation for five years. 

Izabella Bussard, drowned April 28, 2017 at her family’s Manheim Township home. While the death was ruled accidental, investigators say the home entry to the pool was not secured, and the condition of the home in the 200 block of Farmstead Lane was “horrendous.”

Police said boxes, clothing, and trash cluttered every room, dog feces was all over the living room carpet, and the house was filled with the odor of urine and fecal matter.

Additionally, Bussard and Rehm admitted they often used illegal drugs.

Investigators have said no one saw the girl enter the pool, and she was likely in the water for at least an hour. 

The Lancaster County District Attorney’s office said Rehm was more culpable because she was supposed to be watching the child at the time, but instead fell asleep on the couch. Bussard was also home during the incident, but was asleep upstairs, according to the District Attorney’s office. 

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