Young Mennonite sisters suffocate in chest
UNITY, Wis. -- The death of three young sisters who suffocated after they apparently locked themselves in a chest while playing brought their close-knit Mennonite community together to support their family.
Their mother, Shirley Oberholtzer, and their two older sisters found the girls in the cedar chest in an upstairs bedroom of the house, located in a rural area about 30 miles west of Wausau, Wis. Two-year-old Anne, 4-year-old Darlene and 6-year-old Carla were not breathing, the Clark County Sheriff's Department said.
Oberholtzer and the two older girls, ages 13 and 11, were working in the yard on their farm while keeping an eye on the three younger girls Monday.
As the girls' mother began to prepare lunch, she realized she could not hear the younger girls talking and playing around the house and farm as she usually could, Sheriff Louis Rosandich said in a statement.
After finding the girls in the chest, their mother called for help. The first sheriff's deputy to arrive began CPR on the three children. Medical personnel and firefighters arrived and continued CPR.
The children were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield, Wis., where they were pronounced dead.