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Young N.J. Brothers, Ages 3 And 5, Drown In Neighbor’s Swimming Pool

Authorities said two children drowned Thursday afternoon in Union, New Jersey. (credit: Eileen Lehpamer, 1010 WINS)

Authorities said two children drowned Thursday afternoon in Union, New Jersey. (credit: Eileen Lehpamer, 1010 WINS)

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UNION, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Two young boys died Thursday after being found at the bottom of their neighbor’s swimming pool.

The children, 3-year-old Kendall and 5-year-old Kenley Francois, were brothers, 1010 WINS’ Eileen Lehpamer reported.

According to CBS 2’s Lou Young, the homeowner was almost as horrified as the mother of the boys, collapsing in grief upon learning the news. The families shared a common backyard property line. One neighbor said she heard the brothers playing and laughing as late as 6:15 p.m., a half-hour before the bodies were discovered.

“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,” Elizabeth Makhanda said.

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

Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said the boys climbed a 4-foot fence and wound up drowning in the pool after they either fell or jumped. The boys’ mother, who may have been sleeping, eventually noticed they were missing and called police.

Neighbors said they later saw emergency workers trying to perform two miracles.

“When I got here I could see them pressing the chest, compressing the chest,” DiAndrea said.

They were taken to a nearby hospital and efforts to revive them stopped at 8:17 p.m., officials said. According to Romankow, the case is being investigated as a possible homicide and investigators will be looking for signs of a possible pattern of neglect.

“We’re looking for additional evidence to determine whether or not there was any neglect on the part of any party here,” Romankow said.

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