Mum held for manslaughter after sons, 3 and 5, wander off and drown in river ‘as she slept off hangover’

Mum held for manslaughter after sons, 3 and 5, wander off and drown in river 'as she slept off hangover'

A MUM has been charged with manslaughter after her young sons, three and five, wandered off and drowned in a river “as she slept off a hangover”.
Cops allege that Leeann Eatts, 47, had been drinking heavily with mates the night before the boys’ bodies were found submerged in a deep section of Ross River, near Townsville in Australia, say reports.
Barak Austral, 5, and Jhulio Sariago, 3, drowned near Townsville
News Corp Australia Leeann Eatts at the smoking ceremony and memorial for her two sons
Getty Images – Getty Tributes were left at the site where the two young boys drowned on February 26, 2019 in Townsville, Australia
Hours before they were discovered, Eatts wrote on Facebook: “F**k me man my two babies have been missing since 5.45[pm].
“I got eight police cars at my house and everyone on foot looking for them please keep a close eye out for them on the streets… and surrounding suburbs freaking rite (sic) out now.
“They only 5 and 3. Both have shorts no shirt or shoes. They just walked off. Please help Townsville.”
The tragedy occurred on February 25 when Eatts lost her sons – Barak Austral, five, and Jhulio Sariago, three – after they wandered away from the family home.
Despite a massive search effort, involving more than 100 Townsville locals, their bodies were found in Ross River the next morning, just before 5am, reports
On Friday, April 5, Queensland Police charged Eatts with two counts of manslaughter, alleging her “gross negligence” caused her sons’ deaths.
She has also been charged with trafficking dangerous drugs and supplying drugs to minors – but these alleged offences are not connected to the deaths of Barak and Jhulio.
According to the Courier Mail in Brisbane, cops were told that Eatts might have been sleeping off a hangover when her children wandered off.
The newspaper reports that she was allegedly drinking heavily with mates the night before.
Senior Sergeant Dave Miles, leading the investigation for Townsville Child Protection, said: “This is an investigation that revolves around the care of these young boys and what lead to their tragic passing.
“There is no way (they) should have been allowed to go down to the river and certainly their deaths under appropriate supervision and management by a parent would have been averted.”
Police discovered their bodies “only a couple of metres from each other” about 10 hours after they left home to play at their favourite park.
Queensland Police Service The last image of the two boys alive was this CCTV photo, showing them walking without their shoes, before they disappeared from view
Cops allege that the boys were regularly left unsupervised.
Mr Miles told reporters: “As a result of what’s been a fairly arduous investigation over the last five weeks, we’ve taken the boys’ mother into custody.
“This is a catastrophic result for this family and it is a preventable tragedy.
“These boys were three and five years old and they should have been adequately supervised and should not have been allowed to roam anywhere near a large body of water.”
Cops allege the lack of supervision was “systemic behaviour” from Eatts.
The boys’ mum was said to be “inconsolable” after the tragic discovery at the riverbank.
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The Townsville Bulletin quoted their aunty, Ros Eatts, saying: “Everyone’s in shock and total devastation. I’m totally gutted.
“Little Jhulio was three years old – I used to call him little Dumbo, I used to tell him one day he could fly with his ears – now, I think, ‘fly with the angels’.”
Leanne Eatts appeared in Townsville Magistrates’ Court this morning, and was refused bail and remanded in custody.
ABC News reports that she broke down in tears several times during her court appearance.
A version of this article first appeared on
Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Miles, above, said the investigation had been ‘difficult’
Getty Images – Getty A policeman is seen at the site where the two young boys drowned on February 26
Getty Images – Getty Floral tributes were left at the scene of the double drowning


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