Three Florida children, ages 1, 4, and 6, were found dead after being trapped inside a freezer that had been sitting in their yard.
An after-market hasp had been installed on the lid of the freezer in order to secure a padlock on it, Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office investigators found. It is believed that when the children entered the freezer, and the lid closed, the hasp fell shut, trapping the children inside. There was no padlock on the freezer.
Although no foul play was suspected Monday, the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office plans to forward the case to the Third Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office for review.
On Sunday evening the SCSO’s Communications Center received a 911 call from a home on 173rd Place regarding three children who were found not breathing.
SCSO patrol deputies along with Suwannee County Fire Rescue rushed to the scene where they found family members performing CPR on the children. SCFR transported the three children to an area hospital.
All efforts to resuscitate the children failed and all three children died, according to the SCSO. The agency asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to respond to the residence to assist in processing the scene.
After the SCSO Investigators interviewed all of the adults present at the home during this incident, the preliminary investigation revealed that the three young children were playing outside in the yard, when they climbed inside a chest freezer that had recently been brought to the home. The appliance was left outside and was not yet plugged in.
The children were left unsupervised after a woman went inside the house to use the bathroom. When she returned outside, she couldn’t find the children in the yard so she woke up another woman who was sleeping at home preparing to work the night shift, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The two women began to search the property and an adjacent vacant home for the children.
When they opened the chest freezer, they discovered all three children inside not breathing. They tried to resuscitate them and called 911, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The Florida Department of Children and Families has also been notified.
The names and gender of the three children and their relationship to the two women children were not released.