Police: Boy dies after getting hoodie caught on dressing room hook

The boy apparently went under the dressing room door.
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A young boy is dead after police say his sweatshirt got caught on a changing room hook and strangled him.

Police were called to a Mankato thrift store 5:38 p.m. Saturday on a medical emergency, according to a news release. There they found a 4-year-old boy, who was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

Cmdr. Daniel Schisel told GoMN it appears the child went underneath the door of an empty dressing room and was able to get up on a chair. Somehow his hoodie got caught on a hook in there, and the boy suffocated.

First responders tried to resuscitate him on site, but were unsuccessful.

Schisel said they can't say how long the boy might have been in the dressing room. But there is security camera footage outside of the room, and they don't suspect any foul play. An autopsy report will come from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner.

Schisel said police are still investigating, and are not identifying the boy at this point.

However, a GoFundMe hoping to raise money for funeral expenses says the boy was Ryu Pena. They'd like to be able to bring his body from Minnesota to Texas for a funeral. Facebook records indicate the boy and his mother lived in St. James, Minnesota, but that the family is from Texas.

"God Gained another angel last night and the few short years he was here with us, he never failed to make our day, Ryu was such a sweet boy, with a gorgeous smile, an a unique little personality," the GoFundMe says.

Accidental hangings are uncommon, according to a recent report from the Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences. (Note: The report contains disturbing medical images, so be cautious.) Kids usually get their neck trapped in something, such as pieces of furniture, clothing, playground equipment, or window cords.

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