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Two children found dead in car trunk in Springdale

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published June 16, 2009 at 8:45 a.m. Updated June 16, 2009 at 5:50 p.m.

— The Washington County coroner says he believes the deaths of two young siblings found in the trunk of their family car was accidental, but that authorities are awaiting a final determination.

Washington County Coroner Roger Morris said Tuesday that he sent the bodies to the state medical examiner's office in Little Rock, but that he's inclined to believe the deaths were accidental.

"At this time, I feel like it is," Morris said. "Any time something like this happens, it's just tragic. These things are hard to deal with. I feel sorry for the family and everybody who's involved."

Morris said he involved the medical examiner's office as a precaution and was waiting to hear back before determining a cause of death.

The children were reported missing at 4:35 p.m. Monday, and police found the 5-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl in the trunk about a half-hour later. Names of the children have not been released.

Springdale police said the children's mother had last seen them at 3:50 p.m. Authorities searched the house and the surrounding area for 35 minutes before finding the children in the closed trunk.

Springdale police Sgt. Shane Pegram told Fayetteville television station KFSM that the deaths could have been an accident.

"There's a strong possibility that the kids may have very well just been outside, and found a way into the trunk, closed it on themselves, playing a game, but we want to be very thorough in our investigation," Pegram said.

"We're going to have detectives out (Tuesday) in the neighborhood, going door to door, speaking with neighbors, with other children, just to make sure our investigation is thorough, and we don't want to rule out anything at this point," he said.

Pegram said it was too early to tell if foul play was involved. He also said the deaths are an example of the tragedy that can result if a child is left in a hot car. Pegram said parents should not let children play in vehicles, especially on a hot summer day.

Medical personnel declared the children dead at the scene.

Comments on: Two children found dead in car trunk in Springdale

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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 total comments

Hawgwilde says... June 16, 2009 at 10:30 a.m.

The mother needs to be locked in a trunk. There is no way those kids were missing for only 45 minutes! What a load of crap!

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kecha_att.net says... June 16, 2009 at 3:58 p.m.

By the grace of GOD, I hope that is all that happened. Even if it was..how would a parent let their children out of sight that long? Why wasn't the parent attending them outside? How was it possible for the children to close the trunk on themselves? Wouldn't they have kicked and screamed when they realized they couldn't get out? These are all questions that someone need to ask the children's parents.

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NancyB says... June 17, 2009 at 12:32 a.m.

How can you be so cruel and judgemental? What sort of person is so desparate to judge others that they would write such horror? Perhaps you should research the causes of a person being overly judgemental and critical of others. This family has suffered the greatest tragedy that can ever befall a family. They have my greatest and most heartfelt sympathies. And those who would use this terrible tragedy in order to build their own self-esteem should go get help.

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