HOUSTON (FOX 26) - The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office says it is investigating the drowning of two brothers, ages three and four, in a Grangerland pond Thursday.
Family members of the boys declined to comment on the case as they hugged and consoled each other in the driveway of a home down the street from the pond Friday.
The Caney Creek Fire Chief says tiny footprints on the shore of the pond on Wigginsville Road pointed search crews in the direction of the missing brothers.
"As they walked around the pond, they noticed small feet prints into the pond and a little shiny area about midway, so the firefighters went off into the pond," said Chief Raymond Flannelly.
It was about 7:00 p.m. Thursday when firefighter recovered the bodies of the two small boys.
The search for the boys started after a five-year-old boy showed up at the neighbor's house, soaking wet and scratched up.
"It looked like he might have ran through some bushes," said Flannelly. "I really don't think he knew what happened to them...said something about swimming."
Neighbors who watched the search and recovery told FOX 26 the distraught parents joined the search and the boys' father even jumped into the pond with firefighters once he learned his sons may be in there.
"It's a lose-lose for everybody," said Flannelly. "Man, there's family hurt. These first responders—man, it's a difficult thing to deal with."
Flannelly said medics tried to revive the boys for about 30 minutes before they were pronounced dead on the scene.
"Did everything humanly possible to try to save these two young boys," said Flannelly.
Flannelly said he's hoping to prevent similar tragedies.
"You gotta educate the parents; you gotta educate the community," said Flannelly. "As a parent, role-play about swimming accidents, about fires—any kind of dangers—‘cause all these are preventable accidents."
Neighbors say the pond where the boys drowned looks like it may be shallow and small, but it was made for fishing and actually drops to about 25 feet deep in the middle.
The identities of the drowning victims have not yet been released.
A Child Protective Services spokeswoman says CPS investigated the brothers in August 2018, but CPS is not disclosing the circumstances or results of that investigation.
There have been five drownings in the Houston area in the past week alone.