An unimaginable tragedy took the life of “a sweet boy, with (a) gorgeous smile (and) a unique little personality.”

Saturday afternoon at approximately 5:40, 4-year-old Ryu Pena was shopping at an Again Thrift and More store in the southern Minnesota city of Mankato. According to WCCO, he was with his grandmother who was using a dressing room when Ryu apparently disappeared.

Authorities believe Ryu crawled under the door of another dressing room, got on top of the bench in the dressing room and caught his jacket on one of the clothing hooks on the wall. The Pioneer Press reports Mankato Police Commander Daniel Schisel says the young boy died from asphyxiation.

Pena's grandmother and other people searched inside and outside the store, trying to find the young boy, who's feet were not visible from outside the dressing room.

Denise Gonzalez, Ryu's mother, told WCCO how his grandmother found out what had happened: "It wasn't until she came back inside that she saw somebody carrying him..."

Pena, of St. James, Minnesota, was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System, where he was pronounced dead. A page has been started to help the family with his funeral expenses. The message on the page described the little boy this way:

“A sweet boy, with gorgeous smile (and) a unique little personality, his best friend was his older sister Glory, he followed her around every where he was so happy and full of life and he just became a big brother 4 months ago to Rolando jr,whom he loved so much."

This story totally breaks my heart. It's a reminder of just how quickly a child can disappear from our sight and the horrible things that can happen when they do. Please remember to keep your loving eyes on them and give them an extra hug today... or maybe two.

[via Pioneer Press, and WCCO]

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