Brown Co. Prosecutor investigating deaths of brothers who drowned in creek

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

LEWIS TWP, OH (FOX19)  - Brown County Prosecutors are considering whether charges should be filed in the drowning deaths of two boys at a local creek last Wednesday.

Christine Combs said Blake DeVercelly, 8, and his brother, Justin, 11, were both staying at Michelle Walls' home near Felicity. Combs, a friend of Walls, said she was also there at the time. Combs said the whole thing was a horrible accident, but right now, that's up to the Brown County Prosecutor.

Neighbors along Dunbar Road said they're still in shock.

Bill Morgan said he saw the DeVercelly boys around 2 p.m. last Wednesday; moments before the young brothers disappeared. Morgan lives a few houses down from Walls.

"That vaulted grass," said Morgan. "That's where I'd seen the boy. We screamed at them. Told them to get out of the creek! And stuff like that. And they went through the woods. I wished I'd gone after them."

It's a sentiment shared by many in this quiet, tight-knit community, including Walls.

Off camera, Combs said Michelle is a responsible person, and that Michelle told the boys not to get too close to the creek.

Still, final say of whether anyone is to blame is up to the Brown County Prosecutor. Walls does not face any charges right now.

"Whether that duty of care has been violated, we don't know yet," said Brown County Prosecutor Jessica Little. "The investigation is still pending."

Little said it's a process that could take weeks, even months to figure out.

"This isn't going to be an easy case for anybody to look out and decide whether charges should be filed or whether they're appropriate or not," said Brown. "It isn't a decision that we make on our own. This is something the grand jury will ultimately decide."

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