Four-Year-Old Boy Accidentally Dies From Strangulation At A Thrift's Store Changing Room

By Claire Parker, Parent Herald March 21, 11:42 am
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Ryu Pena in an undated photo. He accidentally hanged himself at a changing room after his hoodie got caught in a coat hanger.
(Photo : WCCO - CBS Minnesota/YouTube)

A four-year-old boy accidentally died from strangulation after his hoodie got caught up in a coat hanger at a changing room at a thrift store. The toddler went to the store on Saturday with his grandmother.

The boy, identified as Ryu Pena, went to the Again Thrift store at around 5:30 p.m. Jeremy Clifton of the Mankato Department of Public Safety said the boy went into a changing room on his own and it was only for a short period of time but without any direct supervision. The child's hoodie got stuck on a coat hanger and suffocated him as a result, Fox 2 Now reported.

His grandmother and other people inside the store searched for the child when they did not see him around. They searched both inside and outside of the store. The grandmother went back inside and saw someone carrying the boy out and police said they did not immediately see the child because his feet did not touch the floor. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful and emergency responders took him to the hospital but he was later declared dead.

The mother of Pena, Denise Gonzalez, said in a statement her son was energetic, very active and was a daredevil because he loved doing flips and jumps on the couches and would try to break dance and do little moves. As for the death of her son, Gonzalez said, "He was playing because he's very curious, adventurous, and it all just happened so quickly," CBS Minnesota shared.

Clifton advised parents to be super aware of their children all the time because such death could happen in the blink of an eye. The authorities did not suspect any foul play but the investigation will continue.

The family of the boy set up a GoFundMe account as they need help for his funeral expenses. As of Monday, the page raised more than $11,000, which is more than the goal.

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