A nine-year-old girl and her five-year-old brother drowned in a canal at Parika Backdam, East Bank Essequibo, after sneaking out of their home on Saturday while their mother was tending to another child.
The bodies of Malissa Torres and her five-year-old brother Miron were retrieved from the canal behind their home at around 19:30 hours on Saturday shortly after they had disappeared.
From all reports, the siblings had slipped out of the house while their mother, Elizabeth Torres, was tending to her baby daughter, who is ailing.
A distraught Mrs. Torres told this Kaieteur News that she was with the baby when her husband informed her that he was going to a nearby shop to get medication for the child.
“Me husband say he going out by he boss man to collect he money and he going and see if he get this medication fuh baby,”.
The woman related that she was in the house with the baby and another child and assumed that Malissa and Miron had left with their father.
But on realising that the children were nowhere around, the woman said she immediately went to look for her husband.
“When I reach up with me husband on the road front I ask he if them children come out with he and he said no.”
The parents immediately raised an alarm and began a frantic search for the missing children.
Fearing the worst, Mrs. Torres said she instinctively ran to the canal which is located about 50 metres from their home. There, the woman and other residents spotted the siblings’ clothing on the dam.
“When I reach there I see me children clothes and I start screaming.”
Some residents entered the water and within minutes, they had retrieved the children’s lifeless bodies from the canal.
But one resident said that Mrs. Torres was still clinging to hope that they were still alive.
“She just hugging up them children and crying and begging them fuh wake up, and the children look like if they sleeping.”
The mother related that the children would normally go with her to the canal to fetch water and swim but never went by themselves.
“The big girl could swim but the lil boy can’t swim and they don’t ever go there alone.”
After police arrived on the scene, the bodies were taken to the Ezekiel Funeral Home.
When Kaieteur News arrived at the area yesterday, many of the residents were still stunned by the tragedy that had struck their community. The father of the children, Lorenzo Torres was too distraught to speak.
Mr. and Mrs. Torres lost a third child under similar circumstances some five years ago while the family was residing at Hogg Island.
Their son, four-year-old Ken Torres, drowned in a canal some 20 yards from their home.
Yesterday, residents had started to collect donations to assist with the children’s funeral expense.
A resident explained that the canal is used to supply water to farm lands in the area from the conservancy.
“When we ain’t getting water the people does open the koker and water from the conservancy does rush in and yesterday the koker was open so that force alone would carry away them children.
A postmortem examination is expected to be conducted on the victims today.
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