MICHIGAN CITY | Authorities ruled Tuesday the death of a 5-year-old boy at a Michigan City day care facility was accidental.
Amareon Williams, of 101 Superior St., somehow got tangled in a rope and was found hanging at Tricia's Playhouse and Daycare at 1824 E. Michigan Boulevard after noon on Monday.
LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan said the boy was on a play fort that had a jump rope draped over the top.
Somehow, the rope got wrapped around the boy's neck and he died from asphyxiation, according to a ruling Tuesday after a forensic examination of the body.
"Just a terrible circumstance," Sullivan said.
He said officials have yet to determine how long the boy had been hanging before he was discovered.
LaPorte County Prosecutor Bob Szilagyi said two other boys saw Williams put the rope over his neck.
Amareon Williams then came partially down the slide with one of the ends tied to the apparatus.
Szilagyi said the boys thought Williams was pretending after not moving, then realized something was wrong after removing the rope and trying to push him further up or down the slide.
"They thought he was playing dead or something," Szilagyi said.
Szilagyi said it's not known if Williams fell with the rope around his neck or went down the slide not realizing the danger.
The day care workers were inside taking care of some babies but checking on the boys periodically by looking out the windows, Szilagyi said.