EXCLUSIVE: Neighbor who desperately tried to save Bode Miller’s 19-month-old daughter is a restaurateur who posed with the gold medalist by the same pool where she drowned at a charity event he hosted just months before
- Bode Miller’s neighbor Perry Valaskantjis, 37, was heard desperately trying to save the skier’s 19-month-old daughter Emeline Grier Miller in a frantic 911 call
- Valaskantjis, a Greek restaurateur, performed CPR on the baby girl after her unconscious body was pulled out of his pool but could not resuscitate her
- Now DailyMail.com has learned that the pool Emeline fell into on Sunday was on the luxury property owned by Perry and his attorney wife Christy
- An Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson told DailyMail.com that Miller’s wife Morgan found the girl and immediately jumped in and pulled her out
- Photos have surfaced of Bode standing by the pool with his close friend at a charity event held at the businessman’s $2.5million five-bedroom home last year
- Valaskantjis had hosted a two-day tennis fundraiser – with live music and live and silent auctions, raising more than $70,000 for Miracles for Kids
The neighbor heard desperately trying to save the life of Bode Miller’s drowning daughter during a frantic 911 call is a close friend of the Olympic skier who helped raise $70,000 for a kids’ charity, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Greek restaurateur Perry Valaskantjis was heard saying ‘come on baby’ as he gave rescue breaths to 19-month-old Emeline Grier Miller seconds after her lifeless body was pulled out of a swimming pool.
In the 911 call, obtained by DailyMail.com, Perry is also heard saying: ‘I have a small pulse, I need an oxygen machine like now.’
The woman who made the call and was receiving instructions from an emergency operator is heard saying: ‘Keep going Perry.’
But as little Emeline slipped away, Perry, 37, is heard saying, ‘She’s stiffening up on me…come on baby.’
A group of three to four people can be heard on the call, with one person noting that Emeline had been underwater for a ‘couple of minutes’ when they found her.
Bode Miller’s 19-month-old daughter Emeline Miller, tragically died on Monday after drowning in a swimming pool at his neighbor’s home
Photos obtained by DailyMail.com show Bode (far left) and his close friend Perry Valaskantjis (second from left) who desperately tried to save the baby girl’s life, standing in front of the pool during a charity event in November
Perry (second from left) hosted a Miracles For Kids charity reception at his home last year, the party was part of a two-day tennis fundraiser – had live music and live and silent auctions, raising more than $70,000 for the organization that offers financial support and hope to families whose children are facing life-threatening illness
The group was still working on Emeline when sirens could be heard in the background, signaling the arrival of the fire department.
Emeline was rushed to nearby Mission Hospital before passing away on Sunday night, with paramedics unable to revive the infant.
Now DailyMail.com has learned that the pool Emeline fell into was on the luxury property owned by businessman Perry and his attorney wife Christy.
The couple live next door to the Millers in the exclusive Coto de Caza gated community in Orange County, California and it’s believed they were hosting a party when tragedy struck.
A spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department told DailyMail.com that the death is still under investigation at this time.
Miller’s wife Morgan Beck, 31, had taken Emeline with her to Perry’s home, when the child wandered off at one point, according to Captain Tony Bommarito of the Orange County Fire Authority.
When Beck and another woman went to go look for her, they discovered the child’s body in the pool.
Beck immediately jumped in to get the girl, and once she was back on dry land multiple people tried to resuscitate her with no luck.
She drowned in what authorities have described as a ‘tragic accident’.
The swimming pool is situated behind the Valaskantjis’s $2.5million five-bedroom house overlooking the Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club golf course.
And in a cruel irony, photos have emerged of Bode, 40, standing by the pool with close friend Perry at a fundraiser for a kids’ charity the businessman hosted last year.
Sharing thoughts: Both Miller (left) and wife Morgan Beck (right) paid tribute to their daughter on social media after her death
A spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department told DailyMail.com that Bode’s wife Morgan found the girl in the pool and immediately jumped in and pulled her out. (Miller’s home circled in red on left, Perry’s pool and the scene of the drowning on right)
Perry was also seen in a photo posing with his friend Bode and a racing horse called Fast and Accurate prior to the Kentucky Derby in May last year
Bode attended a cocktail party and champagne reception at the home in November.
According to the Coto de Caza News, the event – part of a two-day tennis fundraiser – had live music and live and silent auctions, raising more than $70,000 for Miracles for Kids – an organization that offers financial support and hope to families whose children are facing life-threatening illness.
At the event Perry, who co-owns Tom’s Famous Family Restaurant with two of his brothers, told the Coto de Caza News: ‘The real winners here are the families supported by Miracles for Kids.
‘It warms my heart to see so many coming together to support such an important cause.’
Perry, a keen tennis player and umpire, is also vice president of the St Basil Greek Orthodox Church in San Juan Capistrano.
In January, 2017 the Valaskantjis family donated $200,000 to the San Juan Capistrano Parish for a campaign to build permanent sanctuary for the church in Orange County.
Perry was also seen in a photo posing with his friend Bode and a racing horse called Fast and Accurate prior to the Kentucky Derby in May last year.
Tragedy: The 19-month-old daughter of Bode Miller was underwater for ‘a couple of minutes’ when she was discovered in a pool over the weekend (Emeline and her father above)
Helping hand: A GoFundMe has been started to help the family get meals from nearby restaurants
A friend of the Millers also started a GoFundMe page on behalf of the family to help with bills and memorial service costs
Alongside the photo posted on Twitter it says: ‘Perry Valaskantjis and Bode Miller had a nice visit with their boy Fast and Accurate #KYDerby.’
DailyMail.com has reached out to Perry for comment but he did not return calls.
Bode and wife Morgan live in a $1.825 million home that the couple purchased back in September of 2016, and which has a large pool in the backyard like every other house on the block.
‘We are beyond devastated. Our baby girl, Emmy, passed away yesterday. Never in a million years did we think we would experience a pain like this,’ said Bode on social media after the death of his daughter.
‘Her love, her light, her spirit will never be forgotten.’
Bode, who has three older children, also asked for privacy for the family in his Instagram post.
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Miller also took to Instagram on Tuesday, posting a photo of himself with his daughter and sharing the same caption that Morgan did.
The links included on both Miller and Morgan’s profiles are to a GoFundMe campaign, which has raised more than $13,000, and a ‘Meal Train’ donation page.
Both campaigns were set up by Morgan’s midwife, Lindsey Meehleis.
‘As the family navigates through the path of grief and sorrow that no parents should ever have to experience, I would like to call on the community and ask to help take the burden off of the mountainous medical bills that will soon pile in and the memorial service costs,’ Meehleis wrote on the GoFundMe page.
Meehleis also set up a ‘Meal Train’, asking for community members to send donations that the Millers can use on ‘local restaurants and deliveries to provide extra privacy’.
‘Thank you for your compassion and warm meals as this family grieves in a way that no parents should ever have to,’ she wrote.
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