MARGATE, Fla. – Two girls reported missing from a home in Margate are dead after being found by authorities in a canal.
Police said the girls' father called 911 shortly after 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to report he couldn't find his daughters, Louigina Louima, 2, and Louidline Louima, 4. The father said he lost sight of them as they played at the home off U.S. Highway 441 near Sample Road.
The two girls had been in the water for at least a half hour before help arrived. Minutes later, one of the girls was seen being pulled from the water by divers. Paramedics immediately began performing CPR on the girl.
Police said Louidline was taken to Northwest Medical Center. A short time later, Louigina was found unresponsive and was also taken Northwest Medical Center, where they were both pronounced dead.
Loved ones said Louidline and Louigina were inseparable.
"My children were wonderful," said Merline Gaspard, the girls' mother. "They were extremely close."
"(The mother) was on the couch and she was crying and screaming for hope," said cousin Djemsy Corvil. "She feels that she lost everything because she doesn't have anybody with her right now."
The children's father, Louigen Louigens, told Local 10 News that he was hanging out in the living room with his daughters watching TV, when the phone range.
"Their mother called and said she needed a ride home from work," said Louigens. "I went into the bedroom to change into pants and when I came out, my girls were gone."
"They were really, really nice children and I've never seen them out here alone," said neighbor Margaret Hunter. "They were always with somebody."
Officials said the family had no prior history with the Department of Children and Families. The cause of the incident is being investigated by the Margate Police Department.
A vigil will be held Saturday by neighbors who hope to raise money and food to take care of the family.
Donations can be made to help pay for the girls' funeral expenses at any Wells Fargo Bank through the Louidline and Louidjina Memorial Fund.
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