SUWANNEE COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) – Police are investigating the deaths of three children who were found in a chest freezer in Florida.
Deputies say dispatch received a 911 call Sunday evening reporting three children found not breathing.
Suwannee County deputies, along with Suwannee County Fire Rescue personnel, responded to the scene and found family members performing CPR on the children. SCFR transported the three children to an area hospital.
All efforts to resuscitate the children were unsuccessful and all three children died.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement responded to the residence to assist in processing the scene.
Investigators conducted interviews with all of the adults who were at the home during this incident.
SCSO says the preliminary investigation has revealed that the three children, ages 1, 4, and 6 years old, were playing outside in the yard, when for unknown reasons they climbed inside of a chest freezer that had recently been brought to the residence. Investigators say the freezer had not yet been plugged in or brought inside. At the same time, one of the women at the home went inside to use the restroom.
When the woman returned to the yard, she could not locate the children so she woke up the other woman who was at home, sleeping, preparing to work the night shift. The two began searching the property and an adjacent vacant home for the children.
When they opened the chest freezer, they discovered all three children inside of it, not breathing. They immediately began resuscitation efforts and called 911.
SCSO says upon further inspection of the freezer, an after-market hasp -- or latch -- had been installed on the lid in order to secure a padlock on it. It is believed at this time, 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.
The Florida Department of Children and Families has also been notified.
Investigators say the investigation is still ongoing, but at this time, foul play is not suspected. However, this case will be forwarded to the Third Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office for review.