Brothers drown during fishing trip

June 1, 2009 3:53:27 PM PDT
Houston police believe the apparent drowning deaths of three brothers are just an awful accident. The bodies of the man, and two teens, were found in Lake Houston, near the dam in Eisenhower Park. At this point police don't know exactly what happened, but the lake patrol division is investigating. The banks along this tributary are extremely steep. Someone could easily slip into the water.

Ernesto Salvador, 21, and his two brothers came to the park to fish around 7:30am Sunday. His brothers, ages 14 and 16, both from Mexico, had only been in the US for just a few days. As it turns out, none of the brothers knew how to swim.

Salvador's sister arrived at the park just after 2pm Sunday to surprise her brothers, but there was no sign of them. She alerted family members and authorities. The Harris County Sheriff's office and the Department of Public Safety searched the area from 7pm to 2am.

A fisherman discovered the bodies of the three brothers in the water around 9am. They were about 90 yards away from their fishing gear.

Salvador's wife says she usually goes fishing with her husband. Sunday was the first time that he did not ask her. The hardest part of all this, she says, will be explaining what happened to her one-year-old daughter.

"She's going to miss her father when she grows up," said Salvador's wife, Anita Vanegas. "She's going to be asking for him."

Investigators say it appears one of the brothers voluntarily went into the water. His clothes were found along the banks of the tributary. It's not clear which brother jumped in or why. The Harris County medical examiner's office is conducting autopsies to determine the official causes of death.

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