4-year-old girl dies in apparent playground accident

Updated:

SAMMAMISH, Wash. - The King County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes unit is investigating the death of a 4-year-old girl who was found unresponsive at a playground on the grounds of Samantha Smith Elementary Tuesday.  Deputies were called to the school around 6:57 p.m.

 

The girl was originally reported to be 7 years old.

 

According to Sgt. Cindi West, the girl was at the park with her 5-year-old brother and two caretakers when the caretakers and boy left to go pick blackberries nearby.

 

When they left, they noticed the girl was playing with a jump rope wrapped around her neck. Investigators say the boy warned his sister not to play on the slide with her jump rope. When the three returned, they found the girl face down and unresponsive on the slide with the rope around her neck.

 

It appeared she had choked, possibly by the jump rope. 

 

Detectives said there was a language barrier with one of the caretakers, and the person was extremely distraught, which made it difficult to gather information.

 

Medics responded and transported the girl to Overlake Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

 

Police said foul play isn't suspected, and initial indications were that the girl's death was an accident. The King County Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy to determine the official cause of death.

 

Major Crimes will continue to investigate, which is standard in child death cases.