Video: Toddlers found dead

updated 4/25/2005 5:11:07 PM ET 2005-04-25T21:11:07

Two toddlers who were reported missing from their home over the weekend were found dead in an algae-covered sewage pond Monday after a two-day search.

The cause of death was not immediately disclosed, and Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said it was not immediately known whether the youngsters were the victims of foul play. Autopsies were scheduled.

Nicole Payne, 2, and her brother, Jonah, 3, were reported missing on Saturday from their lakeside house about 100 miles east of Atlanta. The children’s mother called authorities to report that the toddlers vanished after she went into another room. Police said their mother found the front door open and the children gone.

Video: Toddlers' parents talk Bankhead said green algae made it difficult to see the children when authorities first searched the 1½-acre pond, situated not far from the toddlers’ home, at the end of road behind their house. The pond is part of the city’s sanitation system.

Before the youngsters were found, authorities said Nicole needed a breathing machine daily and her brother was on medication for an unspecified condition.

On Sunday, agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation questioned the children’s mother, Lottie Kain. Authorities said more than one person was given a polygraph test. They would not comment on the tests.

Up to 100 law enforcement officers searched for the youngsters. Searchers combed the woods, and divers looked in a lake nearby. The search also included the use of heat-seeking devices, infrared radar at night and cadaver dogs.

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