According to a family member, the families of three young boys who died after being rescued from an icy lake are in excruciating pain.
The children, aged eight, ten, and eleven, died on Sunday following emergency calls to Babbs Mill Park near Solihull.
The 10-year-old has been identified as Jack Johnson, but the identities of the other two boys are unknown as mourners leave tributes near the lake.
Another six-year-old boy who was rescued from the water is still in critical condition.
Police said searches would continue throughout Tuesday, but there was no indication that anyone else was missing.
Mourners gathered for a candle-lit vigil on Monday night, leaving flowers, soft toys, and balloons.
People remained silent throughout the day because they were in shock and didn’t know what to do or say.
Charlotte McIlmurray, Jack’s aunt, thanked the local community on social media for their help.
She described the boys’ deaths as a nightmare, calling the pain “unimaginable.”
Messages of love and support, as well as flowers and soft toys, have been left for the boys and their families.
“Rest in peace, I’m going to miss you forever,” one child’s tribute read.
Birmingham City FC head coach John Eustace was among those who laid flowers by the lake.
The blue and white arrangement was accompanied by a card that read, “Sending our heartfelt condolences and love to all those affected by this tragedy.”
“You are on our minds. From the entire Birmingham City Football Club team.”
He then stood in silence for a moment before leaving.
Shaun Gordon, 45, told the BBC that he had to break the news to his daughter, a Jack classmate.
He described the experience as “heartbreaking.” “It’s just tragic as a parent.”
On Tuesday, the family came to lay flowers, which Mr. Gordon said helped ease his daughter’s pain.
The community here knows all of the boys who died, but out of respect for the families, they are waiting for the police to formally confirm their identities.
Instead, they are referred to as “little soldiers,” “three kings,” and “Babbs Mill Boys” on candles and notes.
When one of the boys’ neighbors opened the door to reporters earlier, she was distraught. She called what had occurred a “complete and utter tragedy.”
Lake deaths community comes together in heartbreak and heroism
Before specialist water rescue-trained firefighters arrived, members of the public and police officers went into the water to try to save the children.
According to West Midlands Police, one of their officers had to punch through the ice in order to save the boys.
The families direct how much information is made available to the media, according to Supt Richard Harris, who added that the force is doing “everything we possibly can to support them.”
“People have said it feels like they’re in a movie,” Reverend Mandy Harris of nearby St Barnabas Church said.
“This is what happens everywhere else, but not in Kingshurst.”
Some of the boys’ classmates, she said, had come to the church “not knowing where to turn or how to express their grief.”
She emphasized the area’s strong community spirit as people come together to mourn.
St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School’s chair of governors described the community as “very, very close-knit.”
“We have families here for five generations,” Marcus Brain told BBC Radio 5 Live. “Everyone knows everyone else.”
“Everyone I’ve spoken to… is in complete shock.”
Following the incident, the school closed on Monday and reopened on Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday, people were in shock after learning that three children had died while out playing.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased children in the House of Commons.
Dan, a resident, said he heard sirens from his lakefront flat after the children got into trouble on Sunday afternoon.
He claimed to have taken jackets and towels given to the boys when they were rescued from the water.
“Ten minutes later, I’m back in my flat, and they’ve brought them up on stretchers,” Dan explained.
“We are completely stunned by what has happened,” said Solihull councilor Ian Courts.
“Clearly, our thoughts and prayers must go out to the families involved in this situation.” I can’t imagine what the families must be going through.”
Police believe there were several witnesses near the water who have yet to be interviewed and are urging them to come forward.
Specialist officers from Nottinghamshire Police have arrived to continue searching the lake, which has a 2.1-mile circuit (3.5km).
Despite the heat, visibility has improved since Monday, making the team’s search slightly easier.
With no new missing person reports, police believe another body is no longer in the lake, but they are checking to make sure nothing has been overlooked.