The Union County Homicide Task Force continues to investigate the drowning , Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow said.
According to a press release from the Union County Prosecutor's Office, Union police were called to the 200-block of Parkside Drive in Union at about 6:45 p.m. on Thursday on a report of missing children. After a canvass of the area, the two boys - Kendell Francois, 3, and Kenley Francois, 5, - were discovered in a swimming pool in an adjacent back yard, Romankow said.
"It appears, based on the initial investigation, that the boys climbed over a 4-foot high fence and entered the pool, according to the press release. They were transported to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead at 8:17 p.m. It is still unclear how long they had been in the pool or away from adult supervision," the press release stated.
The Homicide Task Force regularly reviews cases of unattended deaths, and will be handling the investigation. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday morning and detectives continue to take statements and collect and examine evidence.
This is not the first time Union has suffered the loss of young children due to drowning. In early may of 2006, 4-year-old twins Ahmad and Isha Faniel drowned in their family's swimming pool, which was filled with water so murky, emergency workers had to probe the bottom of the pool with poles to locate their bodies.
The twins were reported missing from their home shortly after they fell asleep in a television room near their mother, Jacqueline Faniel. When the mother awoke and couldn't find her son and daughter, she called family and friends to help search. The children were pulled from the water and later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
This year alone, four pool drownings involving young children have been reported in New Jersey. On June 9, a 4-year-old boy was found at the bottom of his family's swimming pool in Westwood, Bergen County. He was hospitalized in critical condition. On June 19, a 7-year-old girl, Fieona Edwards, drowned in a pool in her New Brunswick neighborhood. In addition, Bridgeton police and the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office are investigating the death of an 8-month-old baby who drowned in a Bridgeton apartment Wednesday night.