Alaina Dildine was a 15-year-old Whiteland, Indiana, girl, who died in a high school swimming pool during gym class on May 16, 2023, the school superintendent said in a news conference.
There is a GoFundMe page to help Dildine’s family.
According to WTHR-TV, Dildine was a high school freshman who died, “while swimming laps during gym class in the pool at Whiteland Community High School. Her death is under investigation.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Alaina Dildine Was Swimming Laps With Other Students When She ‘Went Under the Water,’ the Superintendent Says
According to WISH-TV, Dildine was found dead in the Whiteland Community High School swimming pool, but the cause of death is still being investigated.
The Johnson County Coroner’s office wrote in a statement, “The medical examination of Whiteland High School Student Alaina Dildine age 15 has been completed and the official cause of death has not been determined. A final ruling will be completed once toxicology results are received.”
Superintendent Patrick Spray said in a news conference video posted by WISH, “Our understanding is that the student was in the pool during PE class swimming laps with the other students. When the student went under the water near the bulkhead that divides the pool, there was a lifeguard and an instructor on the pool deck.”
Dildine’s family released a statement to WTHR saying, “We would also like to extend our gratitude to all of the friends, relatives, and even strangers who have reached out since this tragedy. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate the outpouring of love, condolences, and prayers from the community during this heart-wrenching time.”
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department is investigating. Sheriff Duane Burgess told WRTV:
We’ve started this process by assigning multiple detectives and meeting with school officials to begin the transfer of all information and evidence to our agency. Our investigators were present during the autopsy and are currently gathering additional information.
We are aware of the rumors, theories, and false information being spread on social media. We will thoroughly investigate every tip or piece of information we receive, but these things take time. We are asking the media and members of the public to respect the wishes and privacy of the family and allow us to conduct this investigation thoroughly and efficiently.
2. Alaina Dildine Loved Bringing Awareness to Epilepsy as Well as Family, Animals, Art & Band, the GoFundMe Page Says
The GoFundMe page has raised more than $25,000. It says:
On May 16, 2023, a family lost their daughter, their sister, their granddaughter, their niece, their friend and she was so much more. The community will never know the enormity of this loss of this special angel. Alaina Dildine loved her family, friends, her community, art, animals, band, and bringing awareness to epilepsy. She was a sweet girl with a heart of gold who would help anyone and now her family needs our help. If you would like to help any support would be greatly appreciated.
“We are so sorry for your loss,” a person who donated wrote on the comment thread.
3. Alaina Dildine Was Described as a ‘Confident, Happy, Beautiful Young Lady’
A woman wrote on the GoFundMe page, “I got to watch her grow up in the library from a shy young girl to a confident, happy, beautiful young lady. She was remarkable and I am so saddened by her passing. A bright light gone too soon. My heart goes out to the whole Dildine family.”
Another woman wrote, “I will never forget Alaina. She was one of the sweetest and most headstrong students I ever had. I loved having her in my class, and I am at a loss of her passing. Please keep me updated with information on her service.”
“Alaina meant the world to so many people! She will be truly missed and we know her light will continue to shine. Rest in peace sweet girl,” a woman wrote on the GoFundMe.
4. The Obituary for Alaina Dildine Says She Was a ‘Spirited, Beautiful Girl With a Smile for Everyone She Met’
Alaina Grace Michelle Dildine’s obituary says that she “passed tragically from this world on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at 11:45am. She was born on December 12, 2007 at 2:02pm to parents Kyle and Victoria Dildine. She was the older sister of Leelah Dildine.”
The obituary continues:
Alaina was a spirited, beautiful girl with a smile for everyone she met. She enjoyed learning and completed the summer reading program every year at the library. She often received Top Student awards in elementary school and was taking college level courses as a freshman at WCHS. Her goal since 2nd grade was to be the first female president and change the world. Alaina had so many things she loved, with God and her family being first. She loved all her friends; best friend Max, Corbin, Jonas, Kate, and Stephen were among her closest. She enjoyed puzzles, brain teasers, all things arts and crafts, playing flute in marching band, and of course corny jokes. She was dedicated to family game nights and pizza Fridays. Her daily goal was to put a smile on others’ faces.
Alaina loved making lists of all the things she liked to learn about, like crazy president facts, and because she was a Marvel fan like her dad, all the characters and their powers. Tom Holland was her favorite. She knew every Spiderman line by heart. She loved animals and helped rescue and rehome multiple kittens to friends and neighbors. Her favorites were sloths, flamingos, and a little blue alien who taught us about OHANA!
Alaina adored spending time with her Grandpa “Choo Choo” (Tom) camping and getting new sweatshirts on their travels.
5. Alaina Dildine Did Not Let Her Epilepsy Define Her, the Obituary Says
The obituary says that, “although Alaina had epilepsy, she did not let that define her. She was passionate about educating and raising awareness about the multiple forms of epilepsy. She even taught her doctors all the epilepsy facts and trivia she knew.
The obituary adds, “Alaina was a wise soul who wanted to make sure everyone knew they were special. She lived by the quote signed at the end of her emails, ‘don’t let yesterday change the way you see tomorrow.’”
“I have no words really. I’ve cried. It’s just, there’s no words,” said family friend Dana Vargo to WTHR. “Who plans their 15-year-old’s funeral?”
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