A brother and sister have died after getting trapped inside a hope chest inside their Massachusetts home. It is believed that both children, who are under the age of 10, accidentally locked themselves inside the hope chest while playing on Sunday.
Michael Morrissey, Norfolk District Attorney, said in a statement that investigations so far indicate that the children were found by family members close to 8 p.m. on Sunday. They were both inside the hope chest which had a lid that could only be opened from outside, therefore the children had no way of opening the hope chest from within.
The children were home with several family members at the time but the hope chest was situated close to a television set that was on and turned up relatively loud.
Once the children were located family members called 911 and the children, who were both unresponsive, rushed to local hospitals but they have since been pronounced dead.
The incident is currently believed to be an accident and the family is cooperating fully with the investigation. Autopsies will be conducted by the state medical examiner’s office.
A hope chest which is known by many names such as cedar chest, glory box and dowry chest is a box that is generally used to collect items such as linen and clothing by unmarried young women in hopes of one day getting hitched.
These chests were very popular at one time but since a number of children have died inside of them while playing and they have become less popular with families who have small kids.
In 2008 a Florida father found his 2-year-old son dead inside of a hope chest. Reportedly the toddler climbed inside to watch television and apparently suffocated inside. The chest had been used for storing linens inside the child’s bedroom which was shared with his 6-year-old brother, according to Lt. Bruce Barnett of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
The 6-year-old told detectives that the boys had awakened during the night and decided to watch television in their room. The 2-year-old went over and climbed inside the chest. They were both watching television until they fell asleep.
The father found his son inside the chest, which was still closed, around 7 a.m. and immediately called for help. The child was pronounced dead at a local hospital and the incident ruled an accident.
The brother and sister from Massachusetts, whose names have not been released, were the youngest of five and attended an elementary school within the Franklin school district.
A neighbor, Mary Delfino, who lives across the street from this family said after police cruisers and ambulances rushed up to the home her nephew brought the three older children to her home. They remained there for about an hour while the initial investigation was going on.
They children were devastated and sobbing while the oldest, who is a junior in high school, told Delfino what had occurred with their young brother and sister. Delfino said the siblings were extremely sad and in bad shape.
Delfino had only been acquainted with the family but said they were very nice and the children well-mannered and behaved.
In Massachusetts a brother and sister have died after getting trapped inside a hope chest while playing inside their home on Sunday. Although the investigation is ongoing, pending autopsies, it is believed to have been an accident.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)