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Man who may have tried to kill toddler, himself on Christmas dies

By Leila Fujimori

LAST UPDATED: 10:09 a.m. HST, Jan 3, 2014

The Kailua man pulled Christmas Day from his backyard pool, where he allegedly tried to kill his 2-year-old daughter and himself, died this week.

The Medical Examiner's Office said Thomas Morton, 36, died Wednesday at Castle Medical Center. The cause of death was determined to be drowning. The office is awaiting toxicology and investigators' reports before making a determination on the manner of death.

Police suspect Morton tried to kill his daughter, opening a second-degree attempted murder case Dec. 25.

Neighbors said Morton, while holding his daughter in his arms, jumped fully clothed into the pool. They saved the girl then pulled Morton from the pool. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital in critical condition.

Ernest Burlem, a next-door neighbor, said Morton's twin brother, who lives in the downstairs unit of their two-story house, is "taking it pretty hard."

"There's a closeness of twins that is hard to understand," he said.

Burlem said the family took Morton off life support Sunday.

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