According to Suwannee County Sheriff Facebook Page:
Yesterday evening the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office – Communications Center received a 911 call from a residence on 173rd Place regarding three children that were found not breathing.
Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies along with Suwannee County Fire Rescue (SCFR) personnel responded to the scene where they encountered family members performing CPR on the children. SCFR transported the three children to an area hospital.
Unfortunately, all efforts to resuscitate the children were unsuccessful and all three children died.
The Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office requested the Florida Department of Law Enforcement respond to the residence to assist in processing the scene.
Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office Investigators conducted interviews with all of the adults present at the home during this incident, and the preliminary investigation has revealed that the three children, age 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, but was not yet plugged in or brought inside, when the adult female went inside of the residence to use the restroom.
When the female returned to the yard, she could not locate the children so she woke up the other adult female who was at home, sleeping, preparing to work the night shift, and they 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 of it, not breathing, and began resuscitative efforts and called 911.
Upon further inspection of the freezer, an after-market, hasp 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.
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.
Please take care when disposing your old freezers, refrigerator, or anything that could lock a child in from the inside. I’ve heard so many sad ending stories about children dying in old appliances.