Misdemeanors related to Saige Borden death are dismissed from village court

LAKE PLACID — A court case related to the death of Saige Borden on Lake Placid was recently dismissed from village court.

In December 2017, Camilla Varoli was charged with three misdemeanor counts of unlawfully dealing with a child for allegedly providing alcohol to minors while at her parents’ property, Camp Gordon. However, the case was dismissed Nov. 12, when it was discovered that the alleged crime actually took place in the town of North Elba.

Village and town Justice Dean Dietrich said, “I currently have no charges pending in North Elba, but that could change.”

“It was a clerical error, and I just wonder how can that have happened,” Borden’s mother Suzanne said Sunday. “I think (Varoli) should be tried again in the right jurisdiction. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be picked up by the town.”

Borden’s father Rob also believes the investigation into his daughter’s death has been mishandled and prolonged since the beginning.

“It’s taken too much time and it’s very frustrating,” he said.

The statute of limitations on misdemeanors in New York typically lasts between one to two years, and it’s getting close to the two-year mark since Varoli was originally charged.

In the early hours of May 12, 2017, Borden, 20, drowned after the canoe she was in tipped, sending her and two friends, Varoli and Jonni Springer, into the cold waters of Lake Placid. Varoli and Springer made it to shore, but Borden didn’t. There were no life jackets on board, and the three had been drinking and taking recreational drugs in the hours leading up to the incident, according to an autopsy report from the Franklin County Coroner’s office and Adirondack Health, which cited police reports.

When Borden arrived at the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, her temperature was 80.6 degrees Fahrenheit, 18 degrees lower than the average body temperature. After four hours and Borden going in and out of normal cardiac rhythm, resuscitation was terminated and she was pronounced dead.

Seven months later, state police charged Varoli with unlawfully dealing with a child and petit larceny for allegedly purchasing alcohol with a stolen credit card belonging to Borden’s mother Suzanne. Matthew Pilawa was charged with criminal nuisance in the second degree for allowing underage consumption of alcohol and drug use to take place at his home in the Lake Placid the night before Borden drowned. In September 2018, six jurors in town court found Varoli not guilty of petit larceny.


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