MARYLAND

Three children found dead in Federalsburg creek ID'd

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Investigators say the bodies of three children were pulled from a creek in Federalsburg Sunday morning.

Christopher Gabriel, 11 (left) and Vladimir Jacotin, 12 (right) were the victims of the drowning.

The children were identified as 12-year-old Vladimir Jacotin, 11-year-old Christopher Gabriel and 7-year-old Yamoude Dona. 

The Caroline County Sheriff's Office says the children were last seen in a church parking lot around 5 p.m. Saturday. Family and friends say the trio was playing basketball prior to their disappearance. The search for the group was called off once it became too dark .

The Delmarva Search and Rescue team was called in to resume the search Sunday morning.

Investigators say the first body was found around 10 a.m. in the Marcy Hope Creek, located off Old Denton Road. According to police, the area is heavily wooded and surrounded by a lot of brush. Another body was found around 10:30 a.m.

The sheriff's office says divers were sent into the creek after the third child could not be located. The body was recovered a little after 1 p.m.

Authorities believe Saturday's extreme heat drew the three to the water. But, family members say the boys didn't know how to swim.

An advocate for the families says they don't have enough money for funeral costs and hope to soon set up a fund. They also want to set up a drive in town to teach other children how to swim.

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