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4-year-old dies after trapping self in toy box

A 4-year-old Veradale boy died around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday after getting trapped in his toy box and suffocating.

The boy’s autopsy has not been completed, but police believe he probably died of asphyxiation, said Spokane County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan.

“It appears to be a tragic accident,” he said.

The boy’s parents were on the top floor of their three-story home with a friend while the boy played in a playroom in the basement. After not hearing the boy for about 15 or 20 minutes, the parents went to check on him and realized he was missing, Reagan said.

The parents searched the entire home and their neighborhood. When they still could not find him, they returned to the house to look again. The father lifted the lid of the boy’s small wooden toy box and found him curled up inside, not breathing.

The box, which was approximately 18-by-16-by-15 inches in size, had a hinged lid that fell down after the boy climbed in. The lid had a latch that police say likely fell over a ring for a padlock, trapping the boy inside.

The father performed CPR but was unable to revive the boy, Reagan said. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

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