Police in one North Florida county are investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of three children after they were found not breathing inside of a freezer outside of a home.
Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office officials said on their Facebook page that deputies were called to the Live Oak home Sunday evening after two female adults called and said they could not find the children after they had been playing in the yard.
While waiting for police, the three children – ages 6, 4 and 1 – were eventually found by one of the adults inside the freezer that had not been plugged in yet. All three were unresponsive when found and rushed to the hospital by Fire Rescue crews, where they later died.
Officials say their preliminary investigation following interviews revealed the three children climbed inside when one of the adults went inside to use the restroom. That female adult woke up another female inside the home and the two began searching the area as well as other homes nearby.
Deputies investigated the freezer and found that an after-market hasp had been installed on the freezer to secure a padlock and they believe it fell shut when the children closed the door, trapping them inside.
Officials do not suspect foul play at this time, but sheriff’s officials and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement continue their investigation. The Florida Department of Children and Families has been notified and the case will be turned over to the State Attorney’s Office for review.