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4-year-old boy accidentally hangs himself in store dressing room

Posted at 4:40 PM, Mar 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-20 16:40:58-04

MANKATO, Minn. — Police say a 4-year-old boy accidentally hanged himself while alone in the changing room of a Minnesota thrift store.

Authorities say the incident happened Saturday afternoon at Again Thrift & More in Mankato, operated by the Minnesota Valley Action Council.

Ryu Pena holding his baby brother Rolando Jr. (GoFundMe)

Police Cmdr. Daniel Schisel says Ryu Pena apparently got the hooded sweatshirt he was wearing caught on a hanger attached to a wall. Emergency responders took the boy to a hospital, where he was declared dead.

Schisel tells the Minneapolis Star Tribune family members, who live in nearby St. James, were in the store at the time. He calls the death “a tragic accident” and says no charges are being pursued.

According to a GoFundMe set up by his aunt, Ryu had an older sister named Glory who was his best friend. Just four months ago, Ryu became a big brother to Rolando Jr.

Relatives described Ryu as a sweet boy with a “gorgeous smile” and “unique little personality.”

Ryu loved playing with cars and “jumping off of things,” according to his aunt.

As of 4:30 p.m. Monday, more than $4,100 had been raised by 125 people.

The family is attempting to raise money to help pay for his funeral.