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Man drowns in swimming pool

He had Alzheimer's, his wife said, and the two often swam in the pool to help him relax.

© St. Petersburg Times
published November 4, 2002

SUN CITY CENTER -- A 70-year-old man drowned early Sunday morning while swimming in a pool near his home, Hillsborough County sheriff's officials said.

David Landry and his wife Elsie routinely took late-afternoon swims in their subdivision's community pool. Swimming was a way to help relax her husband, who had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for more than 10 years, Elsie Landry, 69, said.

"He was confused," she said. "Unfortunately, he had dementia and he was getting a little difficult at times."

Recently, he had gotten worse, Mrs. Landry said.

When her husband became restless about 4 a.m. Sunday morning, Mrs. Landry said she decided to calm him by going for a swim.

"We never go that time of morning," she said. "He was trying to run away and I was trying to calm him down. It was nice and warm, so we went swimming because he enjoyed it."

Fewer than 10 minutes later, Mr. Landry drowned, said sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Alan Hill. Attempts by fire rescue to revive him were unsuccessful, he said. An investigation into the drowning is continuing, Hill said, and a medical examiner will do an autopsy.

Mrs. Landry said the pool is about 8 feet deep, and the two had been swimming in it nearly every day since they moved to Sun City Center from New England two years ago .

"We were glad to be here so we could enjoy things like swimming," Mrs. Landry said.

The couple had been married for 50 years, she said, and have two daughters and a son.

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