Child, 10, dies inside clothes dryer while playing hide-and-seek, says mother

Fernando Hernandez, Jr., died in a dryer over the weekend (Photo provided by family to KTRK / CNN Newsource)

(AP) Police say a 10-year-old Houston boy died after he climbed into a tumble dryer during a game of hide-and-seek.

The Harris County medical examiner's office said Monday that the boy was electrocuted. Investigators initially thought he may have suffocated when he climbed into the machine in the laundry room of an apartment complex Friday.

Christina Rodriguez identified the child to KTRK-TV as her son, third-grader Fernando Hernandez Jr.

Police Detective Michael Arrington told the Houston Chronicle that other children who were playing with Fernando found him unresponsive in the dryer.

The Chronicle notes that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a bulletin in December about several suffocation deaths involving children who crawled inside latch-type dryers. Dryer deaths involving electrocution appear to be rare.


(HOUSTON) A 3rd grade student found dead inside a dryer will be remembered by his friends and teachers when students return to school on Monday.

Grief counselors will be available to talk to children affected by the death of Fernando Hernandez, Jr., over the weekend in Houston.

Fernando's mother spoke to media outlet KTRK on Saturday about the death of her son.

"I don't know what happened," said his mother, Christina Rodriguez. "I was just inside cooking and my little son came inside and told me my son was dead on the floor."

She told KTRK her sons were playing hide-and-seek at the apartment complex where they live. She said she had just seen her son 30 minutes before another son came to tell her Fernando had died.

"My boyfriend picked him up and brought him into the house," Rodriguez explained. "He was purple and his eyes were open and he was gone."

The Harris County Medical Examiner's Office will work to determine what caused the child's death.

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