Mother’s horror as she wakes from afternoon nap to find sons, 3 and 5, dead in neighbor’s swimming pool


By EMILY ANNE EPSTEIN

PUBLISHED: 08:51 EST, 29 June 2012 UPDATED: 12:01 EST, 29 June 2012


Officials in Union County, New Jersey, are investigating whether the mother of two boys who drowned in a neighbor’s pool was guilty of neglect.

But Guerdine Francois, the boys’ mother, is speaking out about her innocence and unspeakable loss. ‘I fell asleep and when I jumped up, I screamed,’ she said, reliving yesterday’s nightmare.

Police said Mrs Francois fell asleep around 3 p.m. and when she woke up at 6:45 p.m., Kendell and Kenley Francois were gone. A photograph of the boys is now taped inside the window of their home.

Tragic: Guerdine Francois fell asleep around 3 p.m. and when she woke up at 6:45 p.m., Kenley Francois, 5, and Kendell Francois, 3, were gone

Tragic: Guerdine Francois fell asleep around 3 p.m. and when she woke up at 6:45 p.m., Kenley Francois, 5, and Kendell Francois, 3, were gone

 
Tragedy

Tragedy: Officials in Union County, New Jersey, are investigating whether the mother was guilty of neglect

 

 
Horror

Horror: Mrs Francois is speaking out about her innocence and unspeakable loss

The frantic mother called police to report the missing boys as soon as she awoke, who began to comb through the neighborhood.

‘We were all in the house relaxing and playing,’ Mrs Francois, said to the Star-Ledger inside her family home on Amherst Avenue. 

‘They were watching TV. I fell asleep and when I jumped up, I screamed.’

Officers Keith Brochu and Rob Donnelly arrived at her home, according to the Star-Ledger, and saw a four-foot high fence leading to an adjacent backyard.

 

Peering over the fence, the officers saw the two boys at the bottom of the neighbor’s in-ground pool on Parkside Drive.

The officers jumped into the water and pulled the children from the deep end and tried to revive them. They were taken to Overlook Medical Center in Summit and were pronounced dead at 8:17 p.m.

Prosecutors believe the boys scaled the fence that separated their yard from their neighbor’s, but are still investigating whether or not the case is a homicide.

‘Anytime there’s a pool accident, you have to look into if there’s any neglect by anyone,’ Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said last night to reporters by the scene.

 
Questioned
Questioned
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questioned: The Mrs Francois called police to report the missing boys as soon as she awoke, who then began to comb through the neighborhood. She is pictured on the ground speaking to police

 

 
Fence

Fence: Prosecutors believe the boys scaled the fence that separated their yard from their neighbor’s, but are still investigating whether or not the case is a homicide

They are seeking a search warrant of the boys’ home to look for evidence of neglect. They declined the MailOnline’s request for a formal history of police activity at the address.

A video of the mother by CBS shows her collapsed on the ground while talking to police.

‘She said, “Sandy, I think they’re dead. They’re dead,”‘ neighbor Sandy Dandrea said of the boys’ mother.

Officials said that an autopsy of the boys will be performed today.

 
Search

Search: Officials said they are looking at every possible lead as to how the boys died, canvassing the entire neighborhood and questioning any and all people who may have been involved

 
Investigation:

Investigation: ‘Anytime there’s a pool accident, you have to look into if there’s any neglect by anyone,’ Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said

‘It’s every parent’s nightmare to lose a child — but two?’ a neighbor, Kenneth, said as he looked on with his 8-year-old child, to the Star-Ledger. ‘It’s hard to comprehend. You cannot put it into words.’

Officials told the MailOnline that they are are looking at every possible lead as to how the boys died, canvassing the entire neighborhood and questioning any and all people who may have been involved.

‘I heard them playing. I heard them playing, but I thought they were in their own backyard. I’m devastated. My heart is beating so fast. I can’t believe it,’ neighbor Elizabeth Makhanda said to CBS.

Another neighbor, Pedro Semedo, 38, said he was thinking about putting a pool in his backyard. Since the incident, he’s reconsidering.

‘This is a very sad eye-opener for everybody else,’ he said to the Star-Ledger. ‘I went around the corner to cry.’

Donald Garrison, who lives across the street from the family, told the MailOnline that he hopes the police do not pursue their investigation.

‘I hope they don’t push this accidental death thing too far,’ he said. ‘Yes, someone should have been watching them, but she lost her two children. She needs time to grieve.’

This is the fourth drowning incident so far this month in New Jersey.



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2166531/Pictured-The-tragic-brothers-Kendell-Kenley-3-5-dead-neighbour-s-swimming-pool-mother-took-afternoon-nap.html


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