Paramedics and police were called to 2442 Route 143 in Kempton, PA on Monday, September 23, 2019. This wasn’t going to be a routine call for help.
Two children were allegedly found unresponsive in their home by their mother. They were quickly identified as Conner Snyder, aged 8, and his sister Brinley, 4. Their mother is Lisa Snyder (36).
The incident was slow to be reported in the media. Until the children passed away on Thursday, September 26, 2019. They died in hospital after being removed from life support, just 14 minutes apart from each other.
Police at first refused to comment on how the children died. The only information that was released was that the ‘children died from their injuries’. Locals started to speculate on Facebook:
A spokesperson from the state Department of Human Services confirmed that assessment and ongoing case management services were provided to Connor and Brinley Snyder through Berks County Children and Youth Services. The Center regularly engages in tracking and researching child fatalities in its work to prevent child abuse and protect children.
The online rumors then proved to be true. It has been confirmed that the children were found hanging from a dog leash in their basement.
Troopers said they received a call from Berks County Communications on Sept. 23 at about 4:30 p.m. with a report of two juvenile victims found hanging and unresponsive in the basement of 2442 Route 143. They obtained six different warrants to search the home for evidence.
According to the Reading Eagle, the children were found hanging from opposite ends of a plastic coated dog lead that had been wrapped around the main support beam of the basement ceiling, according to an affidavit in support of a search warrant. Each end of the wire lead was wrapped around the victims’ necks, the affidavit says.
Two chairs that had been taken from the house’s dining room were tipped over on the floor on either side of the bodies, court papers say.
The children were hanging about 3 feet apart from each other when their mother found them.
No arrests have been made in this case. Police are trying to investigate claims that the family had a dog living in their house at the time of the incident. Lisa Snyder described the dog as a ‘husky pit-bull mix that weighed about 50 lbs’. The dog has since been given away and police are attempting to track it down.
On October 16, 2019, details of the 911 call made in this case were released. Lisa Snyder told a 911 dispatcher that Conner had been bullied and had “made threats of doing this, but didn’t want to go alone.” The 911 call was made at 4:33 p.m. A dispatcher categorizing the call as a pediatric cardiac arrest with two patients. The children were both found hanging in the basement of the home, the dispatchers said.
On the recording, as crews rush to the scene, a fire captain asks the dispatcher, “Any indication from the caller if the scene is safe or how these children ended up there?”
The dispatcher responds, “She mentioned that the 8-year-old has been bullied and has made threats of doing this, but didn’t want to go alone. … At this time, it should just be the mother and the two children on scene.”
We have a real time discussion about this case in our Facebook group. Check back for updates as they emerge.