Miami Beach

Family Desperate for Answers After 18-Year-Old Drowns in Miami Beach Pool

Raymond Spence had jumped into the pool to save a woman from drowning

NBC Universal, Inc.

Nina Mitchell has more questions than answers about how her son drowned in a pool at a Miami Beach hotel Wednesday morning. 

“I need to really know what happened to my son,” Mitchell said.

Raymond Spence, 18, was on vacation from New York.

“You got a pool,” she said. “There’s no lighting, no cameras, no security, no lifeguards.”

Mitchell says around 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, Raymond was sitting by the hotel pool when he saw a woman drowning and jumped in to help. 

She says, at one point, the woman’s friend kicked him in the chest, causing him to drown. 

“He jumped in and tried to save this lady’s life, and he ended up dying,” said Tyrone Mitchell, Raymond’s brother. 

The family says the hotel hasn’t provided any information or video. 

“Everything is weird,” Tyrone said. “Nothing adds up. I just want to know what happened to my brother, and I want him to be honored for the hero he was.”

Miami Beach Police confirmed that there is an open death investigation at the hotel’s address. 

Officers got a call about a drowning at the pool. 

NBC 6 reached out to the hotel for a comment through email and in person and have not gotten a response.

“There’s zero accountability,” Tyrone said. 

Mitchell says her son just graduated high school and describes him as generous and loving. 

“We call him ‘Humble Ray,’ that’s his nickname,” the mother said.

She says since his death, she hasn’t been able to sleep.

“I’m numb right now,” she said. “I don’t even know how to feel right now.”

It’s pain she says that’s been made worse by the lack of details. 

“When it comes to our kids vacationing, this is where we send them,” Mitchell said. “Not to vacation and don’t come back home.”

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