JACKSONVILLE, Florida −A Florida family is mourning the loss of 4-year-old twins found dead in a toy box after playing inside it, according to information from family members, local law enforcement and state investigators.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office told the Florida Times-Union, part of the USA TODAY Network, it responded to a home on Cromwell Road for a medical emergency about noon on Aug. 26.
The home where deputies discovered the twin girls is about 10 miles east of downtown Jacksonville and west of Neptune Beach.
Detectives reported both children were playing in the home and, when checked on, were found unresponsive.
As of Friday, the sheriff’s office had released little details about the children’s deaths and no arrests had been announced in the case.
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Florida officials: Children found unresponsive in toy box
The Florida Department of Children and Families − which investigates child deaths − posted on its Child Fatality Prevention website the children, “ages 4 years, were pronounced deceased after they were found unresponsive in a footlocker/toybox while playing at home.”
Authorities have not specified whether the twins were hiding, if they suffocated or if anyone was at fault in their deaths.
The children’s mother told Times-Union news partner First Coast News the twins had apparently snuggled together in a large wood chest with their stuffed animals after playing.
A medical examiner will determine the children’s cause of death.
A family in pain
On Sept. 1, the mother’s sister, Deanna Myers, identified the twins as Aurora and Kellan Starr.
Myers, who created a fundraiser to help the family as it grieves, said the children’s parents, Sadie Myers and Donald Starr, are living “through the most horrific and painful thing any parent or sibling could be forced to endure.”
In the post, Myers called the incident an accident − “one of those absolutely inconceivable things you can’t imagine or plan for or believe was even possible.”
Myers wrote the children’s parents are devastated “by the unexpected, incomprehensible loss of both of their beautiful four year old twins in a tragic accident. As much as these wonderful parents have tried to blame themselves, they can’t. They couldn’t have known that this would happen or done anything to stop it. Four year old twins do so many silly things and they always do them together.”