A Florida family is mourning the loss of 4-year-old twins who died after being found inside a toy chest at home.
Authorities found the two children unresponsive at a Jacksonville home on Aug. 25, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office explained. Despite “attempts to revive them, they were pronounced deceased,” police added.
The sheriff’s office said that while the investigation is still in a “very early stage,” the information they have “is that both children were playing in the home and when checked on, both were found unresponsive.”
“We are working with our partners at the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death,” police added. “At this time, we don’t know if this is an accident or if foul play is involved.” No charges have been filed as of Tuesday.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, mom Sadie Myers said the tragedy happened after her children were put to bed by their father, who then went to bed himself.
“When I got home from work a couple hours later I looked in at all the kids like usual to make sure they were sleeping, then ate my dinner and went to sleep,” Myers wrote. “At some point early that morning the twins woke each other up and decided they wanted to play in their room rather than sleep.”
“They do this a lot,” Myers added. “And then they usually fall asleep in some weird place in their room with toys left everywhere so mom and dad can see proof of their late night playing when we get up in the morning… Friday night the weird place they decided to snuggle up and go back to sleep was in their cedar toy chest that we use to store all their stuffed animals.”
Speaking with First Coast News, Myers identified the twins, the youngest of her four children, as Aurora and Kellan Starr.
Myers wrote that “sometime during their sleep one of them must have moved or kicked during a dream and it caused the lid of this old wooden cedar chest to close.”
“Something I did not know and I’m sure many others don’t know is that most wooden toy chests once closed are AIR TIGHT and also sound proof,” she continued. “So as they slept, all snuggled up together, they slowly ran out of oxygen.”
Myers later wrote that she woke up for work the next morning her other two older children were playing outside, and she initially assumed the twins were still sleeping. By the time they were found, Myers wrote that “within a few seconds I knew something wasn’t right, but I also quickly realized it was already too late.”
Family member Deanna Myers wrote on a GoFundMe page that “As much as these wonderful parents have tried to blame themselves…they couldn’t have known that this would happen.”
They went on to describe what happened as “the most horrific and painful thing any parent or sibling could be forced to endure.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the page had raised over $16,000.
In her Facebook post, Myers referenced her two other older children, saying, “What I do know is that I NEED to live for my two amazing big boys, and I WILL, I will make it my sole purpose to give them the most amazing lives, to not let this cause any life long damage to their mental state.”
The mom also went on to share a warning to other parents. “I hope if you have a toy box like this that you destroy it immediately!!!” Myers wrote. “Please keep me and my family in your hearts and prayers.”