14-Year-Old Girl Tragically Dies While She Is In The Bathtub

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When a 14-year-old girl tragically died while in the bathtub, her story stunned the nation, especially after her parents revealed her final words the very last time anyone ever heard from her alive. Now, her untimely demise serves as a warning.

Madison Coe
Madison Coe (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Madison Coe was just 14 years old when she met a tragic fate while trying to unwind in the bathtub before going to bed. Like many teens, Madison took her phone into the bathroom with her, careful to keep it dry as it charged. With the power cords carefully placed on a towel, Madison snapped a photo of her setup before sending it to a friend in a message.

That message contained one sentence that initially didn’t seem ominous, but knowing what happened after it was sent is enough to leave anyone with chills running down their spine. “When you use (an) extension cord so you can plug your phone in while you’re in the bath,” Madison wrote, referring to the photo she had taken, capturing the carefully placed power cords resting on the towel.

Madison Coe took precautions, placing the cords on a towel to keep them dry. (Photo Credit: Lovington Police Department)

That was the last time anyone would ever hear from Madison Coe. Sadly, while in the bathtub at her father’s home in Lovington, New Mexico, not long after taking the seemingly innocent but foreboding photo, the 14-year-old girl was tragically electrocuted, a police investigation concluded, according to CNN.

Her family has since authorized the release of Madison’s last message, which Lovington Police spokesman David Miranda said might have been taken up to an hour before she died, along with the photo she sent to her friend. It is her family’s hope that Madison’s story, along with the image and her final words, will prevent similar accidents.

The last message Madison Coe ever sent. (Photo Credit: Lovington Police Department)

Although initial reports said that the phone fell into the tub, evidence later revealed that the device never actually touched the water, making the tragedy all the more frightening. “She had her phone plugged into the extension cord and it was by the bathtub, and I did it, she did it, we all had sat there in the bathtub with our phones plugged in and played our games,” Madison’s stepmother, Felisha Owens, explained.

It was determined that Madison’s phone was plugged into a charger, which was plugged into an extension cord connected to a “non-GFCI, non-grounded” bathroom wall outlet, police said. By the time of the incident, the phone adapter cord had been disconnected from the extension cord, police believe. Although Madison had taken precautions to keep the cords dry, she was not aware of fraying on the extension cord, according to investigators.

Madison Coe (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Following the investigation into Madison’s death, Lovington police revealed that evidence suggests the teen likely touched the frayed extension cord while still in the tub. “There was a burn mark on her hand, the hand that would have grabbed the phone,” Madison’s grandmother, Donna O’Guinn, explained.

In light of the incident, friends and family of Madison Coe aspire to raise awareness about the dangers posed by the combination of water, electricity, and portable electronics, especially among teens. By continuing to share her story, they hope to warn others of the dangers of texting in the tub, encouraging them to learn from the tragedy they were forced to face.

Madison Coe
Friends and family of Madison Coe shared posts, hoping to raise awareness about the cause of her untimely death. (Photo Credit: Facebook)

“The bathroom is a place for showers and personal time, and your phones don’t belong in the bathroom,” Madison’s stepmother said. “Electricity and water do not mix. All it takes is a drop,” she added, saying that Madison was a smart and loving girl and that it was not unusual for her to spend hours relaxing in the bath. “You don’t think to sit in there with a 14-year-old,” she said. “You don’t micromanage your kids anymore, but maybe you should.”

Although they will forever grieve their loss, the family is moved by the outpouring of support they have received. “It’s overwhelming to realize that there are people that we don’t even know and we’ll probably never even meet that have taken this message and shared it to protect another child or even an adult. We don’t want to lose anybody,” Madison’s grandmother said.

While Madison Coe’s demise is tragic, it doesn’t have to be in vain. Instead, her passing can serve to save others. As her story is told and shared, advice for preventing such accidents can be passed on. To guard against severe or fatal electric shocks, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which looked into the incident, suggests installing GFCI-protected outlets. Additionally, they advocate checking these outlets at least once every month.

Of course, there is another obvious precaution: Just keep the electronics out of the bathroom or anywhere water is common and expected. While it seems unlikely that most children, teens, and even young adults will want to oblige, perhaps hearing what happened to Madison Coe will change some minds and save some lives.