CROWN POINT, Ind. — The father of two Indiana boys who drowned in a river has pleaded not guilty to two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

The Post-Tribune reports that 34-year-old Eric Patillo, of Thayer, appeared Wednesday in Lake Superior Court. His next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 17.

Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez has said 4-year-old Levi Patillo and 2-year-old Evan Patillo were unresponsive Aug. 21 after witnesses pulled them from the Kankakee River near the Illinois state line.

Patillo is being held without bail. Online court records don't list an attorney for him.

Authorities say Patillo admitted to using heroin the morning of the drownings and tested positive for opiates and THC, which gives marijuana its high.