A mother of four in Florida has lost custody of her two surviving children after her 5- and 6-year-old sons drowned in an apartment complex’s pool, according to multiple reports.
On Friday, a judge ruled that mother of two deceased boys, Ja’Kye Joseph and Branario Minto, will not regain custody of her surviving toddler and infant children. Florida Department of Children and Families officials told WSVN that they have had previous contact with the mother and that one of the boys who drowned had been in foster care but was returned to the home. It is unclear why the boy was temporarily removed from the home, or for how long he was in foster care.
Relatives reportedly discovered Joseph and Minto at the bottom of a pool at the Silver Palms Condominiums on Wednesday evening. The boys’ mother told WPLG that the boys couldn’t swim and believes they snuck out and jumped the fence after the pool closed.
“I’m sorry, Ja’Kye. I’m sorry, Branario,” the mother tearfully said, adding that she was sleeping at the time.
The mother told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that one of her sons was taking swimming lessons prior to his drowning.
“I lost my babies too early,” she said. “If I was there, I could have saved them.”
[Featured image: Ja’Kye Joseph, Branario Minto/GoFundMe]