Two young Aboriginal brothers have both been found dead in a river after they went missing from their home.
Barak, five, and Jhulio, three, were discovered lying in the Ross River near Cranbrook in Townsville just before 7am on Tuesday.
The boys were seen alive for the last time in chilling CCTV footage, the eldest wearing his school uniform, as both walked towards the river.
Two young Aboriginal brothers Barak (left) and Jhulio (right) have both been found dead in a river after they went missing from their home
The boys were seen alive for the last time in chilling CCTV footage, with Barak wearing his school uniform (in red shirt on the right)
An amber alert was issued by police on Monday after the boys went missing from their home in the suburb of Cranbrook about 5.30pm
An amber alert was issued by police on Monday after the boys went missing from their home in the suburb of Cranbrook about 5.30pm.
The boys’ heartbroken mother Leeann Eatts desperately asked for help before her children were found dead.
‘Mum is missing you boys so much,’ she posted to Facebook.
‘F**k me man my two babies have been missing since 5.45. I got eight police cars at my house and everyone on foot looking for them please keep a close eye out for them on the streets… they just walked off. Please help Townsville.
‘I am so tired and empty.’
Just before their bodies were found, their mother thanked those involved in the search for her ‘two wonderful boys’.
Senior Sergeant Ian Wilkie said a member of the public saw the boys swimming in the river.
He said the deaths appeared to be the result of a ‘tragic accident’.
‘Where they’d been jumping in swimming, it’s quite deep and it’s got a steep bank and there are weeds and other debris in that area,’ he told Sunrise.
‘They looked like they were having fun and it’s turned to tragedy. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the family.’
Senior Sergeant Wilkie said the boys were found next to each other.
‘We all know it has been a challenging month for Townsville as it is and the entire community pitched in to search for these boys,’ he told The Today Show.
The boys’ heartbroken mother Leeann desperately asked for help before her children Barak (left) and Jhulio (right) were found dead
The boys’ heartbroken mother Leeann Eatts (left) desperately asked for help before her children were found dead
‘Mum is missing you boys so much,’ Ms Eatts (pictured) posted to Facebook
‘It is certainly distressing for us and we can only imagine what the families are going through and our heart and thoughts are going to them. The grief I could imagine would be unbearable for them.
‘We hoped for a better outcome. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be… the community came out in force last night. We were hearing stories of dozens of people searching in various areas, going and buying batteries for torches. We do thank them for the assistance in this.
‘Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.’
Before the boys were found, Senior Sergeant Wilkie said a search for the two children was being carried out by more than 60 police officers with assistance from fire crews and State Emergency Services volunteers.
Senior Sergeant Wilkie said the boys often played at Cranbrook Park but they did not come home at their usual time.
Their bodies were eventually found close to the park.
A police helicopter joined the search for the children overnight, as officers on motorbikes drove up and down the Ross River looking for the boys.
The two boys, aged three and five, were discovered lying in the Ross River near Cranbrook in Townsville on Tuesday morning
Ms Eatts (left) shared photos of her children on social media in an attempt to help locate them
‘We do believe that the boys, given their age, are quite possibly frightened and that they are small, they are curled up somewhere,’ Senior Sergeant Wilkie said.
Senior Sergeant Wilkie said the boys’ family was ‘distraught and upset’ after the two went missing.
The two boys were seen walking towards the Ross River on a CCTV camera on Monday afternoon.
About 100 Cranbrook residents helped with the search overnight, with some saying they couldn’t sleep without knowing where the boys were.
Townsville MP Scott Stewart said the deaths were an ‘absolute tragedy’.
‘My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of these kids – I can’t imagine what they are going through, the anguish, the heartbreak,’ he told the ABC.
He commended those who turned out in droves to help with the search.
‘It’s that Townsville strong spirit that we have… we band together, we look after one another, and this is where we stand strong together and this is where we rely on the community to get us through these tough times,’ he said.
Both boys were seen walking towards the Ross River (pictured) before their bodies were found on Tuesday