4-Year-Old Minnesota Boy Accidentally Hangs Himself in Dressing Room

A 4-year-old Minnesota child died after accidentally suffocating in a thrift store dressing room, according to police.

Ryu Pena, of Mankota, was playing in a dressing room on Saturday while his grandmother tried on clothes at the Again Thrift & More, his mother, Denise Gonzalez, told NBC News.

Ryu’s grandmother called out to him, and at first he responded. When she exited the room, she looked under the other stall doors and didn’t see any feet. She went outside looking for the boy, and when she came back inside someone had found Ryu’s body.

Gonzalez said Ryu had taken a stool under a different fitting room door, and as he played the hood of his sweatshirt got caught on a hook. Ryu’s feet were unable to reach the floor and he suffocated, Commander Jeremy Clifton of the Mankato Police Department told NBC News.

“We believe that caused [his airway] to be choked off from being able to breathe,” Clifton said.

A preliminary evaluation by the Mankato Police Department determined Ryu accidentally asphyxiated from being suspended for a period of time.

Gonzalez said she doesn’t blame her mother or the store for her son’s death.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Kalhan Rosenblatt