Father suspected of being on drugs while sons drowned in IN river

Father suspected of being on drugs while sons drowned in IN river
Eric Patillo is now being held on two probable cause charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

LAKE VILLAGE, IN (WLS-TV/CNN) - Indiana authorities are holding the father of two young boys who drowned in a river on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old man is facing neglect charges and witnesses say he seemed like he was on drugs.

"He was running around the parking lot saying 'God, why?' while me and his buddy were out there pulling the kid out," said Anthony Kyle, who was at the scene.

Kyle said the father, Eric Patillo, was behaving bizarrely as his sons were being pulled from the Kankakee River.

Witnesses said when Patillo went there late Tuesday afternoon with his 4-year-old and 2-year-old boys, he appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

And they decided to call 911.

"I could definitely tell that he didn't need to have his children with him," Kyle said.

About 15 minutes later, they saw Patillo cooling off in the water but didn't see the boys.

"My buddy said that he hadn't heard the kids in a while," Kyle said. "You know let's go check it out."

"When he came over, he seen hands and knees floating in the water," said another witness, Dylan Sherwood. "That's when he proceeded to jump in the water and retrieve the first kid."

Patillo is now being held on two probable cause charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

"Tests were taken of the father to determine if he was under the influence any alcohol or narcotics," said Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez.

Investigators are searching for Patillo's friend, 31-year-old Jesse Lintner.

They say Lintner was at the river, but took off before police arrived.

People who were at the scene say they're battling a combination of guilt for not getting to the boys sooner and anger at Patillo.

"I hope god takes ahold of the father's life and turns him out for the better," said Sherwood. "I really don't know what to say. It's mind boggling."

The boys' family is not commenting on the incident.

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