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Published: Wednesday, 4/30/2003

Twins who died were in custody of grandparents

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The grandparents of twin boys who died Friday after they apparently fell into a swimming pool at their home in West Virginia received custody of the toddlers in Lucas County Juvenile Court two years ago.

Paul and Jeremy Buck, 21/2-year-old twins, were found about 9:30 a.m. in the pool in the backyard of the home of Paul and Katrin Buck, former Toledo residents, who were awarded legal custody of the boys in September, 2001.

Lt. Steve Cain of the Fairmont, W.Va., police department said Mrs. Buck found the boys in about 31/2-feet of water in the in-ground pool. He said Mr. Buck saw the twins in their beds before leaving for work at 7:15 a.m. A neighbor who heard Mrs. Buck screaming ran to the pool and administered CPR to one of the toddlers until police and paramedics arrives.

The boys were taken to Fairmont General Hospital, and transferred to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va., where they died about 1:30 p.m.

Police do not know how long the toddlers were in the water. Lieutenant Cain said a next-door neighbor said she heard noises on her porch about an hour before the boys were found in the pool.

A magistrate in Lucas County Juvenile Court awarded legal custody to the Bucks after Lucas County Children Services investigated allegations that their mother, Emily Buck, 20, was not appropriately caring for the newborn infants.

The Bucks were given temporary custody in March, 2001, after the magistrate determined that the infants were dependent. The grandparents, who quit their jobs as truck drivers to care for them, were awarded legal custody several months later after a hearing in Juvenile Court.

Rod Brandt, a spokesman for children services, said the caseworkers and other staff at the agency were shocked and saddened by the tragedy.

“The grandparents were very capable. We had no reservations about them taking custody of these kids. This is just one of those things that make your heart hurt. We feel so badly for the family,” Mr. Brandt said.

Police said the Bucks moved to Fairmont about a year ago. An annual review hearing in juvenile court scheduled in January was cancelled because the Bucks had moved from Ohio.

Mr. and Mrs. Buck and their daughter could not be reached for comment.

Lieutenant Cain said an autopsy was performed by the state medical examiner's office. The results likely will not be available for several months. “We won't close our investigation until we do a few more things, and get the autopsy reports,” he said.

Services for the twins will be today in the Walter Funeral Home in Toledo.



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