KNOX COUNTY, Tenn — The parents of twin toddlers who drowned in a pool in July 2018 are suing the West Knox County babysitter who was watching them, alleging she was negligent in their care.
Jennifer Salley was looking after Elijah and Elyssa Orejuela when they were found in the deep end of a pool at a home on Fox Lonas Road, the Knox County Sheriff's Office said at the time.
The twins were almost 2 years old when they died.
At the time of the drownings, Salley was taking care of four children legally. In the past, she had been found running a daycare business with more children than her childcare license allowed, according to the Tennessee Department of Human Services.
In a federal lawsuit filed in May in Knoxville, the parents, Amelia Wieand and Enrique Orejuela, want to hold Salley "accountable for her wrongful acts and omissions which caused each of the Orejuela twins to suffer tragic personal injuries and a horrible and wrongful death."
Wieand and Orejuela are asking Salley, who is in Texas now, for at least $17.5 million in compensatory damages, according to the lawsuit filed on May 13. They also seek punitive damages.
Salley was never charged in the case.