Metro Atlanta brother and sister die during vacation in Florida

A metro Atlanta family is mourning the deaths of a brother and sister who died on vacation after being pulled from a Southwest Florida lake.

Family members said 13-year-old Gabby Maria Walker and 7-year-old Jemel James "JJ" Walker were pulled from Lake Como, near Florida Gulf Coast University in Estero, Florida on the Fourth of July.

"All we know is that they were supposed to be on vacation. They were supposed to be at the beach,"  Gabby and JJ's sister Ashanti Walker said.

The siblings were rushed to an area hospital in critical condition, but were not able to survive.

"A couple (of) hours later, I get a call and, I didn’t believe it. because who can believe something like that," said Sierra Walker, their sister. "I thought maybe, OK, she was mistaken. Maybe she didn’t know what was really going on. Maybe I wasn’t hearing her correctly,"


The family said they are just trying to learn how to deal with this incredible loss.

"We’re very saddened by what happened," Ashanti Walker said.

"It’s a lot of confusion going on right now," their brother Deven Walker said. "It’s a lot of unanswered questions."

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office have released few details about the incident.


Family members said Gabby tried to jump in to save her little brother.

"Hearing that she tried to save JJ just shows what type of person she is," Ashanti Walker said.

Family members described the pair as "great kids" who were always helping each other out.

"I’m just praying we can put these kids to rest the right way, because that’s what they deserve," Deven Walker said.

The family has set up an online fundraiser to help pay for the burial expenses for Gabby and JJ.