SOUTH BEACH — Police hunting for the two young brothers who went missing on Staten Island during Hurricane Sandy found their bodies in a swamp Thursday.
Brendan, 2, and Connor, 4, were swept from their mother's arms after the family's car got stuck in rising floodwaters near the 400-block of Father Capodanno Boulevard in South Beach just before 6 p.m. Monday.
Brendan was found waist-deep in water just 30 yards from the road near the intersection of McLaughlin Street and Olympia Boulevard shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday. Connor was found 20 feet away, police said.
Their mother, identified by neighbors as Glenda Moore, was trying to evacuate from Staten Island with her children to take shelter with family in Brooklyn when the car stalled out in high water, police said.
Moore, a nurse, got out of the vehicle and was holding Brandon in her arms and Connor by hand when she was knocked over by a wave, police said.
The boys were washed away, police said.
Sources said Moore frantically banged on doors of nearby homes looking for help but got no response.
Moore's husband, Damien Moore, a city Sanitation Department worker, was not with her as she evacuated with the children, neighbors said. He had been called in to work during the storm, sources said.
"He was in shock," neighbor Tom Johnson said of Damien Moore on Tuesday. "He didn't really comprehend it. He had gone to the police station to get his wife and she was in a bad way."
Neighbors described Glenda Moore as a devoted mom who was always with her children.
"She's a great mother," said Lisa Carrano, the family's neighbor. "What she was trying to do was get her children to safety."
Dozens of officers with dogs scoured the area where the boys went missing Wednesday, including poring over a marsh on Father Capodanno Boulevard, where they discovered Moore's blue SUV.
On Thursday, police found Brendan's body in the swamp water, and located his brother soon after.
Friends and neighbors left flowers outside the Moores' Nash Court home Thursday and planned to begin collecting money in memory of the boys.
"I'm going to miss them," Angela Jaconetti, who lives nearby, said of the children. "I'm going to miss them waving at me from across the street. I just can't believe they're gone.... She loved those children."
Fourteen people on Staten Island died as a result of Hurricane Sandy, including an off-duty police officer, a 13-year-old girl and a father and son found together in their basement under a pile of debris.
The city’s total death toll in the wake of Sandy rose to 37 on Thursday.