Police still have questions about drowning victim
Authorities have released the identity of a man who drowned in a Philadelphia police officer’s swimming pool earlier this month, but questions about his death remain.
Mark Cummins, 45, died from an accidental drowning, said Jeff Moran, a spokesman for the city’s medical examiner. Cummins lived in the Northeast’s 19136 ZIP code, but Moran declined to disclose the victim’s specific place of residence.
On July 5, police from the 8th district recovered Cummins’ body from the bottom of an algae-filled pool in the backyard of a home on the 2800 block of Winchester Ave. in Winchester Park. Capt. Jack McGinnis of Northeast Detectives described Cummins as a “family friend” of the woman homeowner, who is a Philadelphia police lieutenant.
Detectives recovered surveillance video from the home. The footage shows Cummins swimming alone in the pool that night and disappearing below the surface. “A few minutes later,” McGinnis said, the homeowner went to the pool area apparently looking for Cummins but did not see him in the murky water.
She called 911 at 10:53 p.m. Patrol officers found Cummins at the bottom of the pool’s 9-foot “deep end” and pulled him to the deck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Philadelphia Daily News named the homeowner as Lt. Aisha Perry, who is assigned to the police department’s differential police response unit. The newspaper reported that the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau has been investigating Perry since before the drowning for an alleged theft of public utilities.
It is not known why Cummins would have been swimming in the dirty pool. The Daily News reported that a vodka bottle was also found in the pool and that detectives sought and obtained a warrant before recovering the surveillance video from the home.
The results of toxicology tests on Cummins are pending. ••