Police hunting for two brothers missing in Staten Island today found the body of one in a swamp.
A detective said two-year-old Brandon Moore was found waist-deep in water shortly after 11am close to where he and his brother Connor, four, were ripped from their mother’s arms a few days earlier.
The boys were swept away when Glenda Moore’s car was stuck in rising floodwaters just before 6pm on Monday near the 400-block of Fr. Capodanno Boulevard in South Beach.
It was revealed today she battled with ‘all she had’ but was unable to stop them from being sucked away by the torrent.
She knocked on a nearby door for help but was told: ‘I don’t know you. I’m not going to help you.’
Mrs Moore then tried another neighbor near her Staten Island home, but when she rang the bell they turned off the lights and refused to answer.
As the storm raged around her, the nurse took shelter in a doorstep, screaming and staring at the waters which had just snatched away her children.
Twelve hours later at dawn when the weather calmed down she found the strength to walk down the street and flag down a passing police car to raise the alarm.
Three days on, Mrs Moore’s hope is fading of finding her other child alive but she is left clinging on to the desperate hope that he is not dead until his body is found.
The boys were reported missing in the aftermath of Sandy, which hit the borough hard with flooding
Speaking to MailOnline, her cousin Nancy Jean, 41, said: ‘The waiting is killing her. She just wants to know what has happened to her two boys.
‘She has to have closure, she has to know. Glenda fought with all she had. She did everything she could to save those boys.
‘Glenda is just crying. She’s crying, there are lots of tears. I know she has not slept and she is hardly eating, we’re having to tell her to eat. None of her family are really eating. This is so hard’.
The boys’ aunt told the New York Daily News their mother tried to hold onto them, but she couldn’t fight the surging waters.
‘She was holding onto them, and the waves just kept coming and crashing and they were under,’ the aunt told the Daily News, adding that the mother managed to swim to safety.
The search for Connor and Brandon resumed at a marshy area on the east coast of Staten Island where the SUV was swept.
About 20 police officers from the NYPD Scuba Unit fanned out across a Staten Island marsh on Father Capodanno Boulevard in search of the boys
Some 40 men with pitchforks and shovels were working through the 5ft deep bog and a helicopter with heat seeking equipment flew overhead.
Police have already pulled out a silver minivan and the mother’s blue SUV but there is still no trace of the boys.
Tragedy struck on Monday as Mrs Moore was trying to flee her home to get to Brooklyn where her mother Maria Lemaire, 64, lives.
The mother told police that as the water started to rise, her car stalled and she got out of the car clutching the two-year-old son in her arms and her four-year-old son by the hand before they were washed away
Her bravery made a sharp contrast to the uncaring neighbours who refused to assist, Miss Jean said.
Fighting back the tears, she went on: ‘I can’t believe the way she was treated by the people she went to for help.
‘The first person she knocked on, she begged them and said: “Please call 911”. They told her: “I don’t know you” and closed the door. She tried another door but they turned the lights off.
‘I can’t imagine what she was thinking then. She sat down for 12 hours and was just screaming. She was out of it. When it got to morning she went and found a police car and told him what happened.’
Miss Moore’s aunt, who declined to give her name, also told the New York Daily News: ‘They answered the door and said, “I don’t know you. I’m not going to help you”.
‘My sister’s like 5ft 3in, 130 pounds. She looks like a little girl. She’s going to come to you and you’re going to slam the door in her face and say, “I don’t know you, I can’t help you”?’
The aftermath of Sandy in Southshore, Staten Island. The area was severely damaged by strong winds and flood coming from the ocean
The aunt also said Mrs Moore told her she was knocked into the freezing waters herself by the power of the storm.
‘She was holding on to them, and the waves just kept coming and crashing and they were under.
‘It went over their heads… She had them in her arms, and a wave came and swept them out of her arms.
‘She [Mrs Moore] said she got shoved, and then the wave just took the car and flipped it over. She was knocked down.’
Mrs Moore is married to Damien, 39, who works at the New York Sanitation Department. They have no other children and are ‘devastated’ at the loss of their sons.
Battered yachts in Southshore, Staten Island. Authorities are still searching the island for the other missing boy
‘I saw them on Monday morning because I watch them when their mother goes to work.
‘They were really happy and I know Glenda had bought them some Halloween costumes and was going to take them out on Halloween.’
The aunt added: ‘They’re the most beautiful children ever. One’s a redhead, the other a dirty blonde.’
About 20 police officers from the NYPD Scuba Unit fanned out across the Staten Island marsh on the Boulevard in search of the boys.
So far, police have confirmed 14 storm-related fatalities on Staten Island, including a 13-year-old girl found in Tottenville, a father and son in South Beach, and a 28-year-old off-duty police officer.
Reached at her home in Brooklyn, New York, Glenda’s sister Sophia, 42, said: ‘I’m sorry, I have no comment’.
Ms Moore told police her car stalled and she became stranded in the marsh when the left her home in search of higher ground as the storm worsened.
Around two dozen officers have been using canoes and police dogs, and scuba divers have been enlisted to search the area and have drained the marsh.
Officers from the NYPD Scuba Unit fanned out across the Staten Island marsh on the Boulevard in search of the boys. ‘Cops were in there hip deep trying to get them,’ a witness said.
Source: The Daily Mail