Sheriff: 3 Children Found in Freezer Died of Asphyxiation

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
January 18, 2019USshare
Sheriff: 3 Children Found in Freezer Died of Asphyxiation
A police car stands in front of the court of Arapahoe county in Centennial near Denver, Colorado, on July ,13 ,2015. (Chris Melzer/picture alliance via Getty Images)

LIVE OAK, Fla.—Autopsies showed three young children died of accidental asphyxiation when they became trapped in an unplugged chest-style freezer in their yard in north Florida.

Suwannee County Sheriff Sam St. John said there were no signs of trauma on the children, ages 1, 4 and 6. Their bodies were found at a home outside of Live Oak on Jan. 13, after they went missing while playing outside.

Yesterday evening the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office – Communications Center received a 911 call from a residence on…

Suwannee County Sheriff's Office 发布于 2019年1月14日周一

The Gainesville Sun reports two families lived at the home—a woman and her 4-year-old daughter, and the grandmother of the other two children.

St. John said the mother went inside while the children were playing on a trampoline.

The children climbed into the freezer chest that was brought to the home, according to an investigation. The freezer was not plugged in or brought inside.

Deputies said the mother was inside using the restroom when the kids went into the freezer.

When she returned to the yard, she could not find the children. That’s when she woke up another woman who was at home and was slated to work a night shift, and they began to search the property and at a vacant home for the children, ABC3340 reported.

They discovered the children inside the freezer. After that, the women began resuscitation efforts and called 911.

An after-market hasp was installed on the lid of the freezer, Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office investigators told USA Today.

It is believed that when the children went into the freezer, the lid closed and the hasp shut. It then trapped the children inside.

The Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office is going to forward the case to the Third Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office. No charges have yet been filed, and no foul play is suspected.

The Florida Department of Children and Families was also notified, according to reports.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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