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Child dies in backyard accident

Lizzy Matney was just 3 years old

Published: Monday, June 3, 2013 8:28 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 8:45 a.m. CDT

The tragic death of a 3-year-old Morris girl Friday, May 31, was accidental.

Elizabeth “Lizzy” G. Matney was brought to Morris Hospital’s emergency room by Morris EMS just before 1 p.m. Friday, said Grundy County Coroner John Callahan. By 1:30 p.m., the 3-year-old daughter of Mark and Stephanie “Dani” Matney was pronounced dead.

“At this point in time, it appears to be a very tragic accident,” said Morris Police Chief Brent Dite Monday.

Morris police were on scene immediately following the EMS units. Police did a preliminary review of the scene and follow up interviews with witnesses in conjunction with the coroner’s office, said Dite.

The investigation indicates the parents and three children were all in the house that afternoon. Lizzy made her way out the back door and “in a very short time” the mother noticed Lizzy was not in the house and ran to the backyard, said Callahan.

The mother found her daughter entangled with a rope on a swing set. The girl was unresponsive and CPR was started by the mother and EMS was called.

“This is such a tragic incident of a child making her way out of her parent’s sight in such a very short time, with a tragic ending,” said the coroner in his press release.

Monday, Callahan said the incident was a “parent’s worst nightmare.” An autopsy was not being conducted because there was no need based on the evidence and details presented, he said.

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