Young brothers drown in Gratiot County pond - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Young brothers drown in Gratiot County pond

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GRATIOT COUNTY (WJRT) - (07/11/14) - In Gratiot County, two young boys went outside to play, ventured into a pond and drowned.

The tragic story unfolded Thursday morning at a home in rural Hamilton Township, in Gratiot County.

When the mother noticed her children were missing, police were called. The search for the 2-year-old and and 3-year-old brothers ended in a nearby pond.

The 22-year-old mother saw the boys in the home on Woodbridge Road at around 9:30 a.m., but 1 hour and 15 minutes later, she couldn't find them.

"The area is heavily wooded and there were a lot of places to look," said Gratiot County Sheriff Doug Wright.

In the area, there are a few homes, plenty of woods and at least one pond.

After the mother and a neighbor looked for the boys for about 15 minutes, she called 911. The father was at work.

Wright says six officers responded and some arrived within minutes.

"We initially checked the house, checked the out buildings, and then spread out from there," Wright said.

A pond is about 200 or so yards from the house.

"It appears that it could be a man-made pond, from what I saw, with the sand, there were piles of sand, play areas for children," Wright said.

Two officers eventually noticed something on the ground.

"They observed tiny barefoot tracks from these two boys in the mud leading back toward a pond on the property," Wright said.

Wright says the tracks led them to the bodies of the two boys. Investigators do not suspect foul play.

"The family is totally devastated," Wright said.

Dawn Wolfe, who lives in nearby Ashley doesn't know the family, but has plenty of young nieces and nephews. She knows they can get out of eyesight in a hurry.

"It's horrible," she said. "I can't imagine what the parents are going through. It's devastating."

"You would love to be able to watch a child every minute, every hour of every day, but that is not possible with everything people have to do," Wright said.

The Gratiot County Sheriff's Department reports the autopsy results show the cause of death of both boys is drowning.

If you'd like to help with funeral costs, donations can be made at any Chemical Bank branch for the Xander and Owen Cross Memorial Fund.
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