National News

Boys' bodies found together in Qld river

The Townsville community is in mourning after police found the bodies of two young brothers close together in the city's flood-scarred river.

Jhulio and Barak, aged three and five, were located about dawn after more than 100 police, SES workers and residents joined a frantic 12-hour search in suburban Cranbrook.

The boys' relatives called police about 6.30pm on Monday, asking for help after the children didn't come home.

Their devastated mother, Leeann Eatts, sought help on Facebook throughout the night.

"If you live near a park or driving past it take time to have a look they will be cold hungry and tired now. Mum is missing you boys so so much," she wrote.

"Words can not explain the empty feeling rite now."

Officers found their bodies, sometime between about 4.30am and 6am on Tuesday, in a deep, cutaway section of the Ross River.

The adjoining bank was steep from the power of record floods that hit Townsville about a month ago and there was still vegetation in the water.

Ros Eatts said the loss of her niece's two sons was unfathomable.

"There are no words to describe how the mum and family are feeling. Completely gutted," she wrote on Facebook.

Police are talking to witnesses, including some who said the boys were seen jumping into the river, a place they often went to play with other children from their neighbourhood.

"Obviously we have young boys who are very familiar with their surroundings. They, like other children, play in the community," Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Miles said.

"We have to look at all circumstances at this point before we make any determinations as to whether or not there's anything we should be concerned about. It could be as innocent as harmless play that's had tragic consequences."

Sen Sgt Miles said a report would now be prepared for the coroner.

"The coroner will ultimately make a determination if there's any concerns that they have," he said.

He said support was being offered to the family and officers who found the bodies.

"The best way to describe the family is devastated, as you'd expect," he said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the boys set off an adventure and didn't come home.

"In the last month the people of Townsville have had to endure a lot of heartache and wrenching despair - and now, they must endure more," she said.

© AAP 2019