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Father Charged in Drowning Deaths of Two Sons
A father from Indiana is in custody after his two sons drowned under questionable circumstances on Aug. 22. Eric Patillo, 34, of Thayer, Indiana has been charged in the death of his sons, Evan Patillo, age 2, and Levi Patillo, age 4. He is currently in Lake County, Indiana jail while the county prosecutor considers formal charges. Lake County deputies received a 911 call shortly after 5 p.m. on August 22, reporting a man acting strangely, as if on narcotics, along the shore of the Kankakee River near the 241st Avenue boat ramp at the Indiana/Illinois line. While en route, deputies got a call saying there were two boys in the water, according to a Lake County Sheriff’s press release (pdf). Deputies found police officers from Newton County on the scene. Emergency Medical Services medics were trying to revive the boys, unsuccessfully. Levi Patillo was transported to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Crown Point, Indiana. Evan Patillo was taken to Riverside Hospital in Illinois. Doctors at these two hospitals could not resuscitate either child. Lake County detectives from the Special Victims Unit interviewed Eric Patillo, and eventually booked him into Lake County jail on two charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in death. The Lake County Prosecutor’s office is deciding whether to file formal charges. Eric Patillo was tested for drugs and alcohol but the results of those tests have not yet been released. Deputies are also looking for Jesse Brandon Linter, 31, as a witness whom they believe has more information on the double drowning. The deaths occurred in numerous overlapping jurisdictions. The river and riverbanks are officially the responsibility of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The DNR will investigate the drowning specifically. The Lake County Sheriff’s Department will investigate any possible criminal aspects of the case.