Two brothers, ages 8 and 12, died Sunday afternoon after the younger boy fell through a sheet of ice covering a pond and his brother tried to rescue him, authorities said.
Jarris Robinson, 8, and Aaron Robinson, 12, were pronounced dead at Dorchester General Hospital shortly before 6 p.m. - just under three hours after they fell through a sheet of ice covering a shallow pond at the housing development where they lived, Cambridge police said.
According to police, Jarris climbed a fence, walked onto the frozen pond and fell through. Aaron ran onto the ice in an attempt to save his younger brother but also fell into the water.
Jenise Robinson, the boys' mother, said she warned them not to go over the fence, but Jarris didn't listen, and Aaron went after him.
"He went out there to try to save his brother. They must have been underneath the water for about 10 minutes," Robinson told WBAL-TV.
Three other children ran for help, and a 911 call was placed at 3:13 p.m.
Cambridge police and Dorchester County sheriff's deputies were first on the scene, and they did everything they could before divers showed up, Cambridge EMS Director Bill Watkins said.
"The police were in (the water) in their street clothes," Watkins told The (Easton) Star Democrat.
The officers weren't able to recover the boys but pinpointed their locations in the muddy, murky water, Watkins said. Dive teams from local fire departments pulled the boys out of the water, but efforts to revive them were unsuccessful. They were taken by ambulance to the hospital, where they were pronounced dead. Their bodies were taken to the State Medical Examiner's office in Baltimore for autopsies.
The boys' father was stationed with the Army in Hawaii and caught a flight home after he heard the news, their mother told WBAL-TV.
Eight of the responders were treated for mild to moderate hypothermia, Watkins said. "All that could be done was done," he said.
Authorities estimated that the pond was about 8 feet deep in the middle, Cambridge police Lt. Wayne Bromwell said.