CBSN

Young siblings die after pulled from neighbor's pool on Long Island

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. The owner of a Long Island home where a young brother and sister drowned in a pool was cited by the town for improper fencing, according to police.

CBS New York reports a makeshift memorial is growing outside the home of Ralph Knowles, 5, and Sharon Knowles, 7. The two died Sunday after they were pulled from the waters of a neighbor's uncovered above ground pool in Central Islip, police said.

Police received a 911 call around 3:30 p.m. from the children's mother reporting that the two had disappeared from their home, police said.

"The police responded and started a search and in doing that search, a police officer saw what he believed to be a shoe floating in a backyard pool of a neighbor's house," said Suffolk County police Sgt. Edward Fandrey.

Officers jumped into the 4-foot-deep pool and found the unconscious bodies of Ralph and Sharon. The brother and sister were taken to Southside Hospital where they were pronounced dead, police said.

The pool is located just behind the Knowles' property on Half Mile Road. Investigators said the pool was enclosed, but the fence was not properly installed and may have made it easier for the kids to climb.

"The exposed side of the stockade fence was facing out, instead of the smooth side," Fandrey said, adding the pool's owner had been cited by the town for improper fencing.

Neighbor Donnavon Downs said he saw the children climbing a tree in their yard earlier in the day.

"I saw them on the limb right there and I don't know if they look over, curious on the other side see the pool, so it was very sad."

Other neighbors are overwhelmed by the young lives that were lost.

"They were very nice children and we're going to miss them," said neighbor Christine Campbell.

Police are still investigating.