Updated: June 15, 2014 10:50PM
GARY — When Dorel and Terrion Smith’s friends asked the two boys if they could come out to play Saturday night, their mother said yes, as long as they were back in 30 minutes.
But only their sister returned at that time — with the tragic news that the two boys had drowned, said their mother, Tatiana Smith.
She was led to a nearby field, at 4040 Missouri St. in Hobart, where a pond had formed.
“My kids were already gone,” Smith said.
Terrion, 8, and Donel, 9, had been taken to St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart. The Lake County coroner’s office said the boys were both pronounced dead about 9 p.m. Saturday.
Detective 1st Sgt. Jeremy Ogden said the Hobart Police Department received the 911 call about 7 p.m. Officers arrived shortly after the call and pulled the children out of the water.
Tatiana Smith’s brother, who is 10, was with Donel and Terrion at the time and tried to pull them out, she said.
“He’s taking it very hard,” she said.
Her two sons loved all sports but basketball was their favorite, she said. They were close to each other and their uncle, who they thought of as their own brother, she said.
“They were just loving kids,” she said.
The family is struggling to find a way to pay for the funeral, so no plans have been made, Smith said.
No more information was on the drownings was available Sunday evening from Hobart police.
Stacie Brooks lives nearby and remembers playing there as a child. She was shaken by the news Saturday night.
“This breaks my heart,” she said.
Contributing: Sun-Times Media correspondent Michelle L. Quinn