They were identified as Ja’Kye Joseph, 6, and Branario Minto, 5, and were discovered face down in the pool by neighbors, who hurried to pull them from the water, according to a police news release.
“I ran over there and saw two children laying on the side of the pool, the kids were on the floor and they were giving them CPR,” a neighbor told CBS4 in Florida.
The boys’ mother says her sons were taking lessons, but at least one still did not know how to swim. https://t.co/DGdrjwi2vA
— ABC7 Sarasota (@mysuncoast) May 26, 2019
Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue paramedics attempted to revive the two boys. They were pronounced dead after being rushed to a nearby hospital, police said.
“The community’s pool area is secured behind a fence. Detectives believe the boys may have climbed over the fence to reach the pool,” the news release stated.
According to Local10 News, mother Wildine Joseph said she was sleeping when the boys drowned.
Children die after being pulled from North Lauderdale apartment complex pool at the Silver Palms community in the 1200 block of Southwest 50th Avenue: Branario Minto, 5, and Ja’Kye Joseph, 6. https://t.co/b1ueOHuyzS
— Dorotea Bourne (@quetevayasbien) May 23, 2019
“I’m so sorry. If I was there I could have saved them on time,” she said, adding: “I will always miss my babies. I’m sorry, Ja’Kye. I’m sorry, Branario. They’re only 5, and they’re only 6.”
The two boys were also reportedly unable to swim.
“He thought he could swim, but he could not swim,” Joseph said, reported ABC7.
Meanwhile, the victims’ 4-month-old and 1-year-old siblings were taken away from Joseph by Child Protective Services amid an investigation, said officials in the ABC affiliate’s report.
A judge ruled that the siblings will stay in state custody after Joseph appeared in court last week, WSVN reported. The Florida Department of Children and Families said they have past dealings with Joseph and will be looking into previous reports.
WSVN reported that Branario, the 5-year-old, was placed in foster care before he was given back to his mother.
“The family is devastated. Our family is devastated,” said Eddie Perez, his foster parent. “We thought he had a bright future ahead of him.”
Perez, who took care of the boy for a year, said he was a caring and loving boy.
— CBS4 Miami (@CBSMiami) May 24, 2019
“He was easy to get along with. The kids in school loved him,” he said.
According to a GoFundMe for the young boys started by the foster parents: “We were blessed to be in his life for a year and he was turned over to him Mom for reunification. Questions are still going through my mind as to why they were out so late. He was just a baby. We reached out to his mom and she is unable to bury them correctly.”
Those with information about the drownings can call Detective Barbara Dyer at 954-321-4262. Anonymous information can be given by calling Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.