msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 1/3/2012 5:04:01 PM ET 2012-01-03T22:04:01

Authorities say they've recovered the bodies of two young brothers from the water of an irrigation canal 30 miles south of Phoenix.

Pinal County Sheriff's Office spokesman Elias Johnson says 6-year-old Calib Love apparently fell into the canal in Maricopa Sunday afternoon and his two brothers, ages 10 and 8, slid down the steep embankment to save him.

Johnson said the boys didn't know how to swim. He says the 8-year-old, identified as Emmanuel Stower, was able to make it out of the canal and run home to get help, but 10-year-old Anthony Love drowned. He noted that the canals were difficult to get out of when someone falls in.

"These things are dangerous," Johnson told the Arizona Republic. "You don't have those emergency steps like you see in the towns. Had those been there, would it be a different outcome? Maybe."

Divers found the boys Sunday evening near where they had slipped into the water. Police had originally thought they had washed several hundred yards downstream to a grate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.