FRESNO, Calif. --Tragedy in Southeast Fresno after police said two-year-old Elizabeth Thao and three-year-old Jayce Thao died after drowning in their neighbor's pool. Officers said the garage door was left open at the toddlers' home and the children's room is connected to the garage.
"Parents go to work in the morning, the garage door was left up a ways and it looks like the grandmother wasn't up yet and the children got out. The three-year-old knows how to open doors and it looks like they got out that way," said Lt. Joe Gomez, Fresno Police Department.
Investigators believe the children got out between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. When relatives couldn't find the children they called the police for help. Officers knocked on Elizabeth Valle's door who lives right next to the family. Police asked her if they could check her backyard.
"I said yeah go ahead, and I just come to my backyard to see what happened and I saw one little kid floating in my pool and I just jumped and said, 'the baby's here! The baby's here!'"
"The officers, they heard the scream and they ran back there pulled out both of them, started CPR. One of the officers took off his gear and jumped in, they were in there for several minutes-- a long time," said Gomez.
Valle had only been home a few minutes after leaving for several hours to drop off her children to school and go to the gym. She said no one else was home while she was gone.
Valle said six months ago the children also got out. She said that time she found them naked in her backyard while she was having a family get together.
"Makes me sad, especially because I'm a mother of three. So I can't imagine it happening to me."
Police believe the neighbor's gate may have been open slightly, allowing the children inside but the pool was secured by an additional locked gate. Officers believe the children climbed over some items next to the fence in order to get into the pool.