Townsville mum to be charged with manslaughter after sons drown in river

| 05.04,19. 01:17 PM |

Townsville mum to be charged with manslaughter after sons drown in river

Photo: The brothers' bodies were found in the Ross River after hours of desperate searching. (ABC News)

Police have arrested the mother of two young boys who drowned in Townsville's Ross River and will charge her with manslaughter.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following story contains images of people who have died.

The bodies of Jhulio Sariago, 3, and Barak Austral, 5, went missing late in the afternoon of February 25 and an amber alert was issued six hours later.

Their bodies were pulled from the river the next morning after a desperate community search involving 100 people and a helicopter.

Their mother, 47, has been taken into custody and will be formally charged with two counts of manslaughter this afternoon.

Photo: CCTV footage showed the two boys walking away from their home. (Supplied: Queensland Police Service)

Police said she will also be charged with drug trafficking offences, including supplying drugs to a minor.

Detective Senior Sergeant David Miles said police will allege the boys' deaths were a "preventable tragedy".

"This is something that should have never happened," he said.

"She's been solely responsible for the failure, as we are going to allege, in relation to these two young boys."

At the time of the deaths, Detective Senior Sergeant Miles said the boys were found in the water within metres of each other.

"They were in a small cutaway area in the river, from recent flood events it's quite deep, and quite a deep bank, and there's some vegetation there," he said.

The boys' bodies were returned to the Northern Territory where they have ancestral and cultural ties.

They were buried together in one small coffin in Darwin after a funeral service at the city's Catholic cathedral.


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