The search for two young Staten Island boys who were swept away from their mother during superstorm Sandy ended tragically Thursday when emergency and city workers discovered their bodies, the NYPD said.
Police took the bodies of Brendan, 2, and Connor Moore, 4, to a police trailer where their parents identified them shortly after 11 a.m., according to NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.
The children were found near each other in a marshy area near McLaughlin Street and Olympia Boulevard. Connor was found by a city Parks Department worker and Brendan by a police Emergency Service Unit officer, Browne said.
Both children were swept away on Monday night as their mother, Glenda Moore, 39, tried to drive them from the family home on Nash Street on Staten Island to relatives in Brooklyn. The mother was traveling on Father Capodanno Boulevard around 7 p.m. when her Ford Explorer stalled after it was hit by a surge of water from the beach, Browne said.
Moore exited the vehicle with her arms around both her sons when the rushing water ripped them from her grip and carried them away, Browne said. She tried seeking help by knocking on doors of nearby homes but no one answered, according to police.
Identification of the boys was made by Moore and her husband, Damian Moore, 40, a city sanitation worker, police said.
The confirmed deaths of the Moore children brought the city death toll from Sandy to 38 as of late Thursday, Browne said. That figure could be adjusted depending on how some deaths are classified after full autopsy results.
Among the other tragic finds reported Thursday by police was that of an elderly couple whose bodies were discovered next to their car in a vacant lot near Tennyson Drive and Nelson Avenue on Staten Island. Browne said police believe that Marie Colborne, 66, and her husband Walter, 89, were trying to escape from rising water when they drowned.
While Sandy was raging, the city homicide rate hit bottom, with no homicides reported after 3:40 a.m. Monday -- when a man was found dead from trauma in the Rockaways near Bay 34th -- through Tuesday, police said.
Homicides are now at 350 for the year, down almost 20 percent from the 436 reported last year at this time, officials said.
At that pace, homicides could remain under 400 for the first time in decades.
Browne said the NYPD is anticipating a slight decrease in overall crime citywide during the storm and its aftermath, although officials won't know for sure until next week.
A number of looting incidents were reported, mostly in Brooklyn, where police made some arrests in the Mermaid Avenue area, including that of a man who was caught carrying a safe that happened to have a gun inside, Browne said.