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Autopsy: Boy who hid in dryer died of electrocution

Autopsy: Boy who hid in dryer died of electrocution
Posted at 12:46 AM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-30 23:20:05-04

HOUSTON (KTRK/CNN) – The autopsy for a Texas boy found in a dryer during a game of hide-and-seek revealed the 10-year-old was electrocuted, which an appliance technician says was likely due to faulty wiring.

Medical examiners in Houston released an autopsy report Monday for third grader Fernando Hernandez Jr., known to family and friends as Junior.

Junior, 10, was electrocuted Friday night while playing hide-and-seek with his best friend and 9-year-old brother.

"I don't know what happened. I was just inside cooking, and my little son came inside and told me my son was dead on the floor,” said the boys’ mother, Christina Rodriguez, in an interview.

Appliance technician Donald Schatte says all the accidents he’s seen where someone got electrocuted by a dryer have something in common: faulty wiring.

“There are so many safety features. It has to be something to do with the wiring,” Schatte said. "Some people don't repair their dryer properly – like a door switch goes bad, and when they open the dryer, as long as the timer is on, the machine is going to keep running."

Schatte recommends getting rid of your metal belts and watches and putting on some shoes. That way, if something goes wrong, the electric current won’t be able to go through you to the ground.

"You should always wear rubber-soled shoes or flip flops, as long as it's rubber,” he said.

The laundry room at the apartment complex has been closed and locked shut.

Grief counselors were on campus at Junior’s school, Harris Elementary, Monday. The boy attended the school with his three siblings.

"We try to stay strong for one another. The teachers do a really good job of that and give them the encouragement that we can,” said Trent Johnson, the school’s assistant principal.

Copyright 2018 KTRK, Family photos via CNN. All rights reserved.