Police discovered the bodies of three missing girls in a Texas pond on Saturday, hours after they had been reported missing.
The three girls, 9-year-old Zi’ariel Oliver, 8-year-old Amanda Hughes and 5-year-old Temari Oliver, were staying with a family friend while their mother was working. The friend reported the sisters missing at roughly 10 p.m. on Friday.
Police began searching the area and came across a pair of shoes sitting on the edge of a pond on a neighbor's property. Investigators discovered the bodies of all three girls at the bottom at roughly 2 a.m. Saturday, according to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.
Circumstances of the girls' deaths are under investigation, but police have not announced a criminal inquiry. The sisters' bodies have been sent for autopsy to determine the cause of death.
The law enforcement search included elements of the local police, fire department and game wardens. Authorities say they discovered footprints in the mud near where the shoes were found.
The girls' mother, who remains unnamed, confirmed that the shoes belonged to one of her daughters.
Authorities have indicated the girls' deaths may have been an accident.
"That is unknown, whether they were swimmers or not. None of them had life jackets on, so I don’t know how strong of swimmers they were or if were swimmers at all," Lieutenant Game Warden Jason Jones told KTAL.