Mass. children trapped in hope chest die

FRANKLIN, Mass. — A neighbor has identified two Massachusetts siblings who died after getting trapped in a chest as a 7-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl.

Dawn Powers says her daughter often played with Lexi Munroe. She says she and brother Sean Munroe were well-behaved.

Police responded to the home in Franklin, Mass., at about 8 p.m. Sunday after family members found the children inside the hope chest, which had a lid that could only be opened from the outside.

A spokesman for the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office says the chest was made by Lane Furniture and was purchased by the family secondhand more than a decade ago.

In 1996, Lane recalled 12 million cedar chests with lids that automatically latch shut after receiving reports of six children suffocating inside.

It’s unclear if the chest owned by the family was included in that recall.

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