The fully-clothed bodies of a young brother and sister have been pulled from a garden pool on New York's Long Island.
Distraught mother Tia Knowles had reported five-year-old Ralph and seven-year-old Sharon missing from their home in in Central Islip at about 3.30pm on Sunday.
An officer spotted a shoe floating in a next-door neighbour's pool, which was uncovered and contained blackish water.
Fellow officers jumped into the 4ft-deep pool and found their lifeless bodies.
The children were taken to hospital but efforts to resuscitate them failed.
Their uncle, Henry Valentine, 32, of Jamaica, Queens, told the Newsday newspaper that their mother was "devastated".
"She's not doing good at all," he said.
The pool is surrounded by a deck. Both are sunk into the ground and surrounded by a low, wooden fence.
The owner had been warned previously by the town council about the fencing.
"The exposed side of the stockade fence was facing out, instead of the smooth side," said Detective Sgt Edward Fandrey of the Suffolk County police homicide squad.
He added that the slats made it easier to climb over the shared fence.
The house in the Long Island neighbourhood where the children lived is owned by a charity that works with homeless families.