August 22, 2018-Two young fishermen did everything possible to save two young children yesterday evening but help did not arrive in time to save 4 year old Levi and 2 year old Evan Patillo. According to Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez, a call was placed to 9-1-1 dispatch at approximately 5:15 p.m. for a report of a father with two young children who was “nodding off.” Although the fishermen were on the Lake County side of the river, the call went to Newton County dispatch and officers were sent to investigate. Anthony Kyle of Hammond was one of those fishermen. Anthony explained that he was fishing with a friend, Dylan Sherwood, when they noticed a man with two young children along the shore. They provided the man with a fishing pole so that his children could fish. The pair thought something was amiss and called 9-1-1 to report that the children may be in danger because of the state of the father. “I don’t know much about drugs” Anthony told the Gazette via telephone when asked about the incident. Anthony went on to explain that something just didn’t seem right and it raised enough concern to dial 9-1-1.
Patillo took Levi and Evan and went “about a football field away” to fish according to Anthony. “We didn’t have a clear line of sight” Anthony told us explaining that they were concerned and checked on the children repeatedly. “We saw the father in waist deep water” Anthony continued. It was shortly after that they noticed the children were in the water. Anthony Kyle and Dylan Sherwood ran to assist, finding one child floating in the water. “By that time the police were about 100 yards away” Anthony explained. He says they pulled the first child from the water and handed him off to Newton County Police who began performing emergency first aid. Anthony estimates the time between the 9-1-1 call and the officers arriving to be about 30 minutes. Sheriff Martinez similarly stated the incident took place “over a 30 minute time frame.”
Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez stated that Levi Patillo, age 4 of Thayer, Indiana was transported to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Crown Point, Indiana and Evan Patillo, age 2, of Thayer, Indiana to Riverside Hospital in Illinois. Where unfortunately attempts at life saving measures were unsuccessful. The father identified as Eric Patillo age 34, of Thayer, Indiana was taken by Lake County Police Special Victims Unit Detectives for questioning, and was subsequently booked into Lake County Jail pending 2 counts of Probable Cause charges of Neglect of a dependent resulting in death. The father was also tested for alcohol and narcotics and we results are pending. Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter stated that charges have not yet been filed but that a charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in death is a level 1 felony which carries a penalty of 20-40 years in prison.
As Officers began to try to revive the first child, Eric Patillo began to scream for help. “He was screaming for Jesse” Anthony stated. Jesse came and assisted in searching for the second child. “Jesse found the second child and Dylan grabbed him from him and carried him to shore” Anthony explained. At that time Police took over until Emergency Medical Services arrived on scene.
Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez says they would like help from the public in locating 31 year old Jesse Lintner with a last known address in Demotte.
All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law. A criminal charge is not evidence of guilt.