Yesterday morning, Bronx couple Rosa Lopez and Francisco Pena realized their 2 year old son Anthony was missing when they were getting their children ready for school. After searching for him, they found him dead, in a plastic container. It turns out his 6 year old brother Alexis had put Anthony in a Rubbermaid storage bin - the boys and their 4 year old sister were playing a game of hide and seek after their parents put them to bed. The siblings forgot about him and went to bed, leaving Anthony to suffocate.
Newsday reports that Lopez "didn't realize Anthony wasn't in bed...The bedroom he shared with his sibling is cluttered and messy...and there were enough clothes on Anthony's bed to make it seem like someone was in it." (The family lived in a one-bedroom apartment in Kingsbridge.) Additionally, Pena admitted to the police he had been smoking pot part of the night. The NY Sun reports that the children may have been imitating a popular Mexican children's program, El Chavo del 8, where the "main character is an 8-year-old orphan who sleeps in a barrel."
The Administration for Children's Services removed Alexis and 4 year old Rachel from the home, but the Daily News says that the children are expected to be returned; the ACS has not been involved with the family before.
The parents have not been charged, as police believe it's just a terrible accident, but the ME's office will perform an autopsy. And while some neighbors were shocked, their next-door neighbor told the Post, "They are strange people. They didn't speak with nobody. There were a lot of parties, loud music. Sometimes they'd fight."