Earlier this week 2-year-old Jacob Kimbley was reportedly playing hide-and-seek in some woods near his house in Winona, Texas, with some other children. When at first no one could find him, they likely thought he'd just hidden really well, but as time continued to pass, they realized something was wrong
According to KETK-TV, police were called, and more than 150 emergency workers and volunteers started to search for him Tuesday after he went missing, using horses, helicopters, and four-wheelers. For more than 12 hours they searched, and then around 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, they found his lifeless body in a septic tank.
I can't imagine the agonizing emotions of his family, friends, and the rescue workers when coming upon this gruesome discovery. It's simply painful to think that a fun game could turn deadly so quickly.
Now police are trying to piece together what happened. Did the boy -- who is said to be "nonverbal and mentally challenged" -- see it as a great hiding place and climb in? Did he fall in? Those are the questions police are trying to answer, but I think it does raise questions about the game in general for toddlers. Asking them to hide where no one can find them has always struck me as a dangerous idea, and this case confirms those fears.
Details continue to come in, and two other children were reportedly removed from the family's home and put in foster care while the case is being investigated as a homicide (which police say is standard until it can be proven otherwise). So it's possible the game won't get the end blame, but in any case, it should serve to remind parents to use caution when letting young children play it and, once again, that toddlers need almost constant supervision.
Do you worry about your children playing hide and seek?
Image via KETK/YouTube