Bodies of Two Young Girls Pulled From Florida Canal

Detectives are investigating possible homicide after two bodies were pulled from a canal in Lauderhill, Florida, on Tuesday. At least one of the girls reportedly was between the ages of 10 and 13.

The body of the first girl was spotted outside a condominium in Lauderhill, just outside of Fort Lauderdale, in the afternoon.

Lawna Johnson, 51, had been sitting by the water when she spotted the body.

"When I got near it, I said, 'It's a little girl.' No shoes on, nothing, just a blouse and some shorts," Johnson told WSVN. "It shocked me. I froze. I started to cry. I'm just not going to leave it and go away. I'm just glad I came out to see what it was."

Police said the girl was wearing jean shorts and a gray shirt with rainbow lettering of the word "Dance" written across.

"It's a very complicated case with a lot of moving parts," Lauderhill Police Lt. Michael Santiago said during a news conference.

As of late Tuesday night, police reported that no parents had come forward to report a missing child, and the Tampa Bay Times reported that authorities did not at first suspect foul play, as the first body showed no signs of trauma.

Neighbors had reportedly told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the first child had been seen on Monday with another girl about her age.

On Tuesday afternoon, police went door-to-door asking residents if they knew the little girl. Officer Santiago announced during the news conference that they believe they have identified the first girl, but have not been able to confirm.

By 8:45 p.m. local time, the Tampa Bay Times reported that police received a 911 call that a second body had been found in the canal. The second child was found not far from where the first had been.

Amon Hilt, a father of three daughters, told WSVN that he found the second girl's body after he came home Tuesday night.

"I had came from my friend's house, and my other friend had said, 'Hey man, there's a body in the lake,'" Hilt said. "I was like, 'Yeah, I heard about it.' He was like, 'No, there's a body in the lake right now,' so I was like, 'What?' I went over there, and there was a body in the lake, a little girl. I never seen nothing like that before in my life."

Hilt added, "I have three little girls and it's tragic. I ran upstairs real quick and I hugged them."

Police are treating the cases as homicide investigations, despite the lack of obvious signs of foul play.

"As detectives started going through the case and started knocking those doors and looking at surveillance cameras, they started realizing that it may be connected to another missing persons case," Santiago told reporters on Tuesday night after the second body was found.

"That's where it led to this evening. Again, we can't determine at this point if they're related because the juvenile was just found. However, detectives are trying to piece the puzzle together."

WSVN reported that investigators have cross-referenced every missing person from the girls' age group, and they have come up empty. They added that they have not heard from either girl's parents.

Newsweek reached out to Lauderhill Police Department for additional comment.

US-CRIME-SHOOTING
Two young girls were found dead in a canal in Lauderhill, Florida, on Tuesday and police are investigating as possible homicide. JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images