SCHNEIDER, Ind. -- A father faces charges after his two children drowned at the Kankakee River in Indiana Tuesday night.
Police suspect the boys’ father, Eric Patillo, 34, may have been using drugs at the time and did not notice 2-year-old Evan and his brother, 4-year-old Levi, go under the surface.
Patillo has been arrested on two counts of felony neglect.
Investigators are searching for another man, Jesse Linter, 31, who they believe was also with the boys and their father, but took off before police could question him.
Anthony Kyle and Dylan Sherwood, who were also fishing at the river Tuesday night, told WGN they saw what was happening and tried to save the boys. They said it looked like their father was going in and out of consciousness while his children drowned.
“We had noticed that there was just something off about this guy and that he was definitely impaired,” Kyle said.
They initially thought he was fine and had even lent him a fishing pole.
“He was so impaired that he couldn’t even get a worm on the hook,” Kyle said. “He was stabbing himself in the finger with the worm on the hook.”
The fishermen said they were down the river about a football field away from the boys and their dad when the brothers went into the water.
“I knew something bad was going to happen,” Kyle said.
They said they called 911 and then went to help.
“That’s when he saw hands and legs floating in the water,” Sherwood said. “So right then and there, (we) jumped into action.”
The fishermen said there is a lot of heroin use in the area and they thought that was the drug the dad had taken.