10-Year-Old Found Dead in Dryer While Playing Hide and Seek: 'I Just Want My Son Back,' Mom Says
Fernando Hernandez Jr. was found unresponsive in a drying machine on Friday while playing hide and seek with friends at a Houston apartment complex
A 10-year-old Texas boy died on Friday after he was found unresponsive in a clothes dryer at a Houston apartment complex, PEOPLE confirms.
Fernando Hernandez Jr. was rushed to Bayshore Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, Houston police officials tell PEOPLE in a statement. The boy was electrocuted in the dryer and his death has been ruled accidental, a spokesperson with the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences tells PEOPLE.
Hernandez Jr.’s mother, Christina Rodriguez, told ABC 13 that her 9-year-old son found his older brother and alerted Rodriguez and her boyfriend.
“I was inside cooking and my little son came inside and told me my son was dead on the floor,” Rodriguez said through tears in an interview with the outlet. “I ran outside and my boyfriend picked him up and brought him into the house. He was purple. His eyes were open and he was gone.”
Police said there were no obvious signs of trauma, noting that the investigation is ongoing.
“I should’ve been outside with him, but I was inside cooking,” Rodriguez continued to ABC 13. “I just want him home. I miss my baby. He was so friendly, everybody loved him. I just want my son back.”
Hernandez Jr. was a third grader at Harris Elementary School and had three siblings, KHOU reported.
The kids were playing hide and seek and having “Nerf gun wars” on the property, according to ABC 13. Rodriguez said she saw her son drinking water just 30 minutes before he was found dead.
She remembered him as a “friendly” child, the outlet reported.
“Everybody loved him,” she told ABC 13. “He wasn’t the perfect child but he loved everybody.”