A three-year-old girl found in a container of liquid outside Bruster's Ice Cream on East University Drive has died in what police say appears to be a tragic accident, a police spokesperson and the Lee County coroner have confirmed to The Plainsman.
Shortly before 1 p.m. today, Auburn Police Division officers received a call of a missing child near Bruster's. Minutes later, she was found unresponsive in an in-ground, 6-foot container of grease behind the shop.
When police arrived, a Bruster's employee and a family member were performing CPR on the child, according to the Lee County Coroner.
Upon their arrival, EAMC EMS rushed the child to East Alabama Medical Center.
"It was determined that the child had fallen into a tank containing liquid," the spokesperson said. "That's what we're looking at as far as what caused this situation."
Video surveillance of the area shows her playing with her siblings and falling through a lid covering one of the grease pits on the property. She was missing for about 5-10 minutes.
Authorities later pronounced her dead at 1:28 p.m., succumbing to drowning injuries. No foul play is suspected. The death was ruled an accidental drowning.
"Please keep this family in your prayers as they suffer through this tragedy," the Lee County Coroner said in a release.