Police received a 911 call at about 3:30 p.m. from a mother reporting that her 5-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter disappeared from their home in Central Islip, according to Detective Sgt. Edward Fandrey of the Suffolk County police homicide squad.
While searching the neighborhood in 50-degree temperatures, a police officer spotted a shoe floating in a next-door neighbor's aboveground pool, which was uncovered and contained blackish water, Fandrey said.
Officers jumped into the 4-foot-deep pool and discovered the unconscious bodies of Ralph Knowles and Sharon Knowles. The brother and sister, who were fully clothed, were taken to Southside Hospital, where efforts to resuscitate them failed, Fandrey said.
He said the pool's owner had been cited by the town for improper fencing.
"The exposed side of the stockade fence was facing out, instead of the smooth side," said Fandrey, who added that the slats made it easier to climb over the shared fence.
The home where the children lived is owned by a nonprofit that provides housing to homeless families, Newsday reported.
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