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Searchers Missed New Jersey Boys Locked In Truck 5 Times

Maybe you remember the tragic death of three New Jersey missing children found in the trunk of a family car parked right in front of their house earlier this summer. Well it turns out the ineptitude of the search was even greater than was previously known.

-- PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The official report into the suffocation deaths of three Camden, N.J., boys in June says police and family members searched a car five times without looking in the trunk for the missing children.

...The deaths of 11-year-old Anibal Cruz, 6-year-old Daniel Agosto and 5-year-old Jesstin Pagan have been ruled accidental. An autopsy showed they may have been alive for up to 33 hours.

The report's overall conclusion, said [Camden County prosecutor Vincent] Sarubbi, was that "the trunk and passenger compartment of the Toyota should have been thoroughly searched by family members and by police officers in the early stages after the boys disappeared."

Police and family members searched the car five times before the three boys were found dead, Sarubbi said.


Comments (13)

This is one of the saddest ... (Below threshold)

This is one of the saddest and strangest cases I have seen in a while. None of the reporting on the case has touched on any of the questions I have regarding this case. How did the kids get in the trunk of the car? Was the trunk open? Did they take a set of keys to the car to get into it? Why would three boys get into the trunk of a car in the first place? The car, I believe, was an older Toyota Camry is there enough room for three children to fit? Was the trunk empty? Why did the parents wait so long to report their children missing?

There was no excuse for thi... (Below threshold)

There was no excuse for this. When it happened, I said it should have been the first place to look; kids like to hide. argh


Well, now we know where UNM... (Below threshold)

Well, now we know where UNMOVIC recruits.

This was all of 2 miles fro... (Below threshold)

This was all of 2 miles from my house, so I will take a stab at some of the questions asked
Why did the parents wait so long to report their children missing?
They didn't wait too long, really. The children had a history of playing and hiding in abandoned buildings, and the family had a history of letting them.
Searching the car 5 times... that's Camden. The car was owned by the family, so I would imagine they had access to the car.

I swear I'm not moonbat con... (Below threshold)

I swear I'm not moonbat conspiracy lover, but isn't it possible that the boys were put there after they were dead? I just don't understand how searchers wouldn't have heard the boys yelling or kicking.

Depending on the heat, the ... (Below threshold)

Depending on the heat, the boys could have been immoble after a few hours. Also, some cars have considerable sound deadening material and excellent sealing over cars from just a few decades ago.

That being said, it is odd. Nothing that would give a conviction in itself, but the police (if they can get past their own embarassment) should be wondering asking more than a few questions.

I wondered same as "goddess... (Below threshold)

I wondered same as "goddessoftheclassroom" about that very same thing, but, after thinking about this, so the story goes, more than a few people searched (supposedly) the car in question and all of them (supposedly) failed to open/search the trunk.

I find it far more suspicious that no one searched the trunk, however, given that probably the kids were unconscious after a short while of limited oxygen, and therefore were probably silent while there were people just outside their reach. What I think is more than likely suspect is that no one popped the trunk. It seems beyond "unintentional" is my point since nearly any adult would immediately open a parked car in a driveway's trunk when searching for "lost children" from that or even nearby address.

It does seem more than happenstance, my point, that they did not open the trunk. I really hesitate to think anyone would be that stupid and careless and still be involved in searching for missing human beings.

This was, after all, in New... (Below threshold)

This was, after all, in New Joisy;

Q: What's in da trunk?
A: You doan wanna know. You gotta problem wit dat?

If only God Almighty had ma... (Below threshold)

If only God Almighty had made us all intelligent, logical, and mistake-free.

Although conspiracy theories are great fun, Occam's Razor is usually correct. Res ipsa loquitur. They are mind-numbingly dumbasses, which is where this post was properly filed.

When it appears to be sever... (Below threshold)

When it appears to be several people that weren't 'mistake free', the simple explaination start becoming the far fetched explaination.

Mix in a few more details like this one...

Information that Anibal Cruz, one of the deceased boys, had previously played in the car trunk was not made available to police members until after the boys died, Sarubbi said.

... and Sherlock Holmes maxim will apply, "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"

To me there's sufficient im... (Below threshold)

To me there's sufficient improbability of the 'we forgot the trunk' claims that the police should do some probing. Unfortunately, the police either out of denial for their own ineptness or fear of liability may not pursue it.

If a body was moved after d... (Below threshold)

If a body was moved after death, it would be easily detectable by visual inspection alone.

Someone posted a chart and case studies of similar incidents, and of course I can't find the website, which showed how quickly they would have lost consciouness depending on the ambient temp.

This fanciful conspiracy wo... (Below threshold)

This fanciful conspiracy would require the participation all of the police, all of the family, and all of the neighbors. They all forgot to look in the trunk. Occam's Razor.






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