Atlanta, Texas -- A pair of shoes near a private pond has led to the discovery of the bodies of three girls, who were reported missing in the state.

Authorities said the sisters were being watched by a family friend, while their mother was at work, prior to their disappearance. The girls, identified as 5-year-old Temari Oliver, 8-year-old Amiyah Hughes, and 9-year-old Zi’Ariel Oliver, disappeared from their family home in the small town of Atlanta around 10 p.m. Friday, according to the Charlotte Observer.

The mother’s friend eventually called 911 to report the three girls going missing.

Cass County officials arrived at the scene, and were joined by Texas Parks and Wildlife as well as volunteer firefighters to search for the missing children.

While scanning the area around the family's home, the search crew found a pair of shoes that belonged to one of the children. The shoes were found at the edge of a private pond close to the family’s house.

Dive teams joined the search crew and eventually recovered the three deceased children from the water body, which was located about 200 yards away from their sisters' house, Cass County Sheriff Larry Rowe said.

“We located items of clothing around a pond and in a pond. So, we centered the search around that small body of water, and with the use of divers we were able to recover three victims at approximately 2 a.m. in the morning after the girls were reported missing," Texas Game Warden Shawn Hervey told KSLA.

The children’s cause of death has still not been released. Their bodies were sent for autopsies.

“This is not an everyday occurrence, but it does happen,” Hervey added.

The circumstances that led to the children’s deaths are currently being investigated.

Lt. Game Warden Jason Jones told KTAL NBC 6 they do not know whether the girls "were swimmers or not. None of them had life jackets on, so I don’t know how strong of swimmers they were or if were swimmers at all.”

Sheriff Larry Rowe also confirmed they currently do not know how the children’s bodies wound up in the private pond. Details about possible suspects or charges filed in the case have also not been released.

"We have no idea what the girls were doing there," Rowe told the Texarkana Gazette.

"Nobody has been accused of anything," the sheriff told the outlet.

Representative image Credit: Pixabay / Mylene2401