A tragedy in eastern Missouri took place when two young boys died after plunging through a frozen pond while out for a bike ride near their home.
Terrance Hicks, 8, known as Tey, and his little brother, Cleveland Hicks, 7, known as CJ, prompted concerned family members to go searching for them when they didn’t return from a bike ride on Sunday (Dec. 22), KMOV reports.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol said the boys were found Sunday afternoon in a private pond in Franklin County, local ABC affiliate KAKE and the Associated Press report.
The patrol said a family member found Cleveland floating in the private pond in the 400 block of Walls Ford Road just after noon, KMOV reports.
Terrance was later found by a diver, but it’s unclear how long either of the victims had been in the water, KAKE reports.
They were both pronounced dead several hours later at the hospital, KAKE reports.
“It’s a very tragic accident,” Fire Chief Craig Sullivan told KAKE, adding that first responders tried to save the boys but it was too late.
“During this time with the fluctuation in temperatures, any body of water that has ice on it is extremely dangerous,” Sullivan told KAKE. “Ice is not safe until you have approximately four to five inches thick ice and with the weather temperatures that we’ve been experiencing, we have not had a long stretch of extremely cold weather to thicken that ice.”
A neighbor, Opal Kamper, 93, who said she loved the boys and said she had Christmas gifts for them, told KMOV, “I’ll miss them every morning not seeing them.”