911 recording: Boy found hanging in home with sister was bullied, ‘didn’t want to go alone’ | TribLIVE.com

911 recording: Boy found hanging in home with sister was bullied, ‘didn’t want to go alone’


ALLENTOWN — Minutes after finding her two children hanging from a support beam in the basement of their Albany Township home, Lisa R. Snyder told a 911 dispatcher that her 8-year-old son was bullied and had “made threats of doing this, but didn’t want to go alone,” a recording of the incident reveals.

A Broadcastify recording of Berks County 911 dispatches on Sept. 23, the day that 8-year-old Conner Snyder and Brinley L. Snyder, 4, were found hanging by a wire cable, provides new details into the children’s deaths. Berks County District Attorney John Adams said he would not comment on the recording.

The audio recordings from Broadcastify, an online livestream and archive of emergency transmissions, reveal some of the information being passed on to emergency responders at the scene. The deaths remain under investigation.

Reached Wednesday, Lisa Snyder, the mother of the children, said, “At this point, I am not ready to make any public comments.” After her children died on Sept. 26, she changed her Facebook profile with a photo and the saying, “Words scar, rumors destroy, bullies kill.”

The 911 call came in at 4:33 p.m. to a home near Kempton, 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.”

A medical helicopter was called to the scene and the children were rushed to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, according to dispatchers on the recording. They died three days later.

Since the discovery, which has devastated the Kempton community, state police have served at least five search warrants, seizing cellphones, computers and a gaming console. One warrant, on Oct. 2, was specifically for a dog — a black husky-pit bull mix weighing 50 pounds — that had not been found as of last week. Investigators said weighing the dog would help in reconstructing what happened but they would not say why.

In the first four warrants, state police seized a cellphone, the plastic-coated wire the children were found hanging from, the wooden chairs found overturned nearby, two iPads, a laptop computer and an X-box gaming console, which would be inspected for clues into the deaths.

“The eight-year-old victim is known to play video games and view various internet websites utilizing the X-Box gaming console,” one warrant states.

Troopers said they were surprised to learn from Lisa Snyder’s only other child, a 17-year-old son, that she had multiple phones. Investigators then retrieved two more cellphones from Lisa Snyder, according to the warrant made public last Thursday.

Police haven’t said if either of the phones was used by Lisa Snyder to make the 911 call on Sept. 23.

The Lehigh County coroner’s office has not ruled on the cause or manner of death. Last week, Coroner Eric Minnich said that while the autopsy has been completed, further forensic testing, a review of medical records and the state police investigation is needed to rule on the manner of deaths, which can be ruled a homicide, accident or suicide.

Last week, school officials declined to comment on the allegations made in the 911 recording that Conner had been bullied.

Conner was in third grade at Greenwich-Lenhartsville Elementary School, where he was loved by many, the superintendent said in a statement to The Morning Call last week.

“The Kutztown Area School District community mourns the sudden death of Conner Snyder,” Superintendent Christian Temchatin said. “Conner was a beloved member of the Greenwich Elementary School family who enjoyed his peers and teachers.

“He is dearly missed and is fondly remembered for the smile he brought to all who knew him,” the statement reads.

The Snyder family was known to county officials, the state Department of Human Services confirmed. Berks County Children and Youth Services has not returned calls about its involvement with the family.

“Assessment and ongoing case management services were previously provided to the family of Conner and Brinley Snyder through Berks County Children and Youth Services,” Erin James, a DHS spokeswoman, said Wednesday. She declined to elaborate or provide dates.

Police have never identified Conner and Brinley’s father. Several of Snyder’s friends and relatives told The Morning Call he was not involved in the children’s lives.

On Saturday, relatives, friends and members of the Kempton community held a balloon launch for what would have been Conner’s 9th birthday. “Catch them, Conner,” they said as the balloons disappeared into the sky.

Categories: News | Pennsylvania | Top Stories
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