19-Month-Old Twins Who Drowned in Backyard Pool 'Always Wanted to Be Together,' Godmother Says
“Everyone who met them just loved them,” Locklyn and Loreli Callazzo’s godmother tells PEOPLE
Nineteen-month-old twins Locklyn and Loreli Callazzo did just about everything together. They slept in the same bed and "didn't even like having their own seats to sit in," their godmother, Dawn Lemons, tells PEOPLE in a recent phone interview. "They wanted to always be together."
On the morning of March 16, the toddlers' lives ended together when they drowned in the backyard pool at their family's home in Oklahoma City.
Their mother, Jenny Callazzo, 37, found the children in the pool, Oklahoma City Fire battalion chief Scott Douglas tells PEOPLE.
"This is just absolutely killing Jenny right now," says Lemons. "This is a tragic accident. It's just the worst thing. You want to comfort so badly. But there's nothing you can say. It's just — it's horrendous."
After Jenny called 911 at 10:43 a.m., police arrived at the house first and began performing CPR on the children in the back doorway before the fire department took over, Captain Valerie Littlejohn of the Oklahoma City Police Department tells PEOPLE.
The twins had no pulse and were not breathing despite first responders' attempts at lifesaving measures, according to Douglas. The children were then rushed to a nearby hospital where they were pronounced dead, Douglas adds.
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"We did our best to revive them, unfortunately we were just too late," he says. "We talked to the mom and she didn't think it could be any longer than 10 minutes they were out of her sight."
"The mother explained she was home-schooling an older child while the younger children were playing in the living room," Douglas later shared in an emailed statement. "The grandmother left the back-door open, leaving an exit to the swimming pool. The mother stated the longest they could have been in the swimming pool was ten minutes."
Asked about those circumstances, the family's attorney, John Boozer, tells PEOPLE: "That's supposition, we don't know what happened. The family is still putting the pieces together."
The backyard pool, which is about 10 feet from a door to the house, is not enclosed by a gate, Douglas tells PEOPLE.
Littlejohn says that an investigation into the children's deaths remains open until the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner completes autopsies on the toddlers.
That could take four to six months to complete, a medical examiner's office employee who declined to give a name, tells PEOPLE.
"Anytime that there's a child death," Littlejohn says, "we're going to investigate it until we can determine for sure what happened."
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Jenny and her husband Sonny, 42, are getting by "minute-by-minute," says Lemons. "And thank heavens they have a lot of friends and support here to try to help them get through everything. And it's tough. It's so tough."
This is the second family tragedy for Jenny. Her son Preston, from a previous marriage, died at five months old due to medical complications following cancer treatment about 17 years ago, says Lemons.
Jenny also has a daughter, 14, whom Sonny — the father of now 17-year-old twin boys — adopted after they married. The couple also have an 8-year-old son.
"Jenny feels naked without her babies to hold, and so she has been carrying around their stuffed animals so that she has something in her arms," says Lemons. "She says, 'Dawn, I don't know how to walk by myself. I don't know how to move without having my babies in my arms.' She carries them with her everywhere."
"It is very heartbreaking," Lemons continues. "I went home and just bawled my eyes out when I left their house ... I don't know how to help them."
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Jenny, a stay-at-home-mom, and Sonny, who is in sales and was at work at the time of the drowning incident, didn't know they were expecting twins until 30 weeks into the pregnancy.
"That is when the ultrasound showed two babies," says Lemons. "It was crazy. Because they thought they were having one baby."
The twins were born a few weeks later, on Aug. 1, 2021. "They were the most beautiful babies," she says. "And they were so special, and everyone who met them just loved them. Just loved them."
The twins showed an inclination for music — with Locklyn playing harmonica while "Loreli loved to dance and sing," recalls Lemons.
Locklyn had just started speaking in sentences, while Loreli just learned how to say "sissy" to her older sister, she adds.
"They both would play hide and seek, hide behind the drapes and yell out to come find us, and their little feet would be sticking out the drapes," says Lemons. "And they had no idea that we could see their feet. It was so cute."
"Loreli loved to mimic everybody," Lemons adds. "She always wanted to do what the older girls, her mom and her sister and stuff, were doing."
To help cope with their loss, the family started grief counseling this week, Lemons tells PEOPLE. Friends have also been stopping by to support the Callazzos. Even strangers, who have lost a child by drowning, are reaching out to the grieving family.
"It makes them feel like that they're not alone and that other people know what they're going through," says Lemons. "These other people have gone through it, and so it actually is a little comforting for them."
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Family and friends shared memories of the twins at a celebration of life held at First Baptist Church in Oklahoma City on Tuesday. "We asked everyone to wear their favorite colors rather than black," says Lemons. "It was very informal."
And, as expected, she says, "everyone cried."
Lemons started a GoFundMe to help the family with expenses related to the twins' death, including their cremation.
"They're going to be cremated together," says Lemons of the toddlers. "Normally that's not something that's allowed, but we're getting special permission because they were always together."
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