Young brothers who drowned in Ariz. canal identifiedPosted: Updated:
MARICOPA, Ariz. -- Authorities on Monday identified the two young brothers who were pulled from the water of an irrigation canal 30 miles south of Phoenix on New Year's Day.
According to Pinal County Sheriff's Office spokesman Elias Johnson, Calib Ontario Love (above left), a 6-year-old special-needs child, apparently fell into the canal in Maricopa Sunday afternoon and his two brothers, Anthony Michael Love (above right) and Emmanuel Stower, both age 10, slid down the steep embankment to save him.
Johnson called the steep, concrete-sided canal a "death trap."
None of the boys knew how to swim, but the older ones went after their little brother anyway. Emmanuel was able to make it out of the canal and run home to get help, but both Calib and Anthony drowned. Anthony would have turned 11 this week.
A 12-year-old neighbor is the one who called 911. PCSO released a recording of that call Tuesday. (Click audio link above to listen.)
Divers found the boys Sunday evening near where they had slipped into the water. Police had originally thought their bodies had washed several hundred yards downstream to a grate.
Neighbor Bruce Jaynes said he often saw the brothers playing out in the neighborhood and near the canal.
"They'd be throwing stuff in the canal, sticks and stuff. That's what all kids do throw rocks and sticks in the canal," Jaynes said.
The boys' family released a short statement though a friend Monday afternoon.
"The Love family has suffered a great tragedy this holiday weekend," the statement reads. "They are deeply grieving as any family would after losing two of their precious children. All of their friends and family are coming together and requesting privacy in their time of need. ..."
The unidentified family friend said the Loves planned to provide additional information, pictures of the little boys and a full statement in the coming days. The family also planned to set up a donation account when the banks open on Wednesday to help cover funeral arrangements for the boys.