Sib­lings, 4 and 8, found hanged, au­thor­i­ties say

Search war­rant seeks X-Box, elec­tron­ics, one-time fam­ily dog

The Morning Call - - FRONT PAGE - By Laurie Ma­son Schroeder and Pamela Lehman

Two young sib­lings who died last month were found hanged in the base­ment of their Al­bany Town­ship home and state po­lice in Berks County are look­ing for clues within a gam­ing con­sole and other elec­tron­ics, ac­cord­ing to search war­rants filed in the case.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors also hope to find and ex­am­ine a dog the chil­dren’s mother re­ported she used to own, court records say.

Connor Sny­der, 8, and Brin­ley L. Sny­der, 4, were pro­nounced dead at Le­high Val­ley Hos­pi­tal-Cedar Crest on Sept. 26, three days af­ter paramedics were called to their fam­ily’s home in the 2400 block of Route 143, near Kemp­ton.

Search war­rants say that an adult fe­male res­i­dent of the home found them un­re­spon­sive in the base­ment of the home, near two over­turned chairs. The chil­dren had a plas­tic coated wire ca­ble around their necks that was sus­pended from a sup­port beam in the base­ment, court records show.

Au­topsy re­sults are pend­ing, and no charges have been filed.

Search war­rants filed in dis­trict court in Ham­burg show that in­ves­ti­ga­tors want to an­a­lyze an X-Box con­sole that Connor Sny­der played with.

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

In­ves­ti­ga­tors have also asked to an­a­lyze a cell­phone, two iPads and a lap­top com­puter from the house, the search war­rants show.

One of the war­rants asks specif­i­cally for a dog that pur­port­edly lived at the home. The chil­dren’s mother de­scribed the dog as a husky-pit bull mix that

weighed about 50 pounds. A de­tec­tive wrote in the war­rant that he wants to weigh the dog.

“De­ter­min­ing the dog’s ac­tual weight and size uti­liz­ing a scale will as­sist in the crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” the war­rant states.

The de­tec­tive noted in the war­rant that the dog has not been ex­am­ined by po­lice.

“Dog given away,” the re­port says.

Berks County Dis­trict At­tor­ney John Adams would not say specif­i­cally what de­tec­tives are look­ing for but said Mon­day in­ves­ti­ga­tors are look­ing at all types of in­for­ma­tion to try to de­ter­mine ex­actly what hap­pened. He said it re­mains an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“When­ever we are deal­ing with the un­nat­u­ral death of a child, it is very emo­tion­ally trou­bling to all of us,” Adams said. “I be­lieve to have two chil­dren per­ish in the same in­ci­dent re­ally com­pounds our con­cerns and we are look­ing for­ward to hav­ing some an­swers. But we need to take our time to de­ter­mine ex­actly what hap­pened.”

Adams would not com­ment fur­ther. Last week, a spokesper­son from the state De­part­ment of Hu­man Ser­vices con­firmed that “as­sess­ment and on­go­ing case man­age­ment ser­vices were pro­vided to Connor and Brin­ley Sny­der through Berks County Chil­dren and Youth Ser­vices.”

The de­part­ment did not elab­o­rate on what ser­vices. Au­thor­i­ties at Berks County Chil­dren and Youth Ser­vices did not re­turn a phone mes­sage.

Fam­ily mem­bers of the chil­dren could not be reached for com­ment.

Adams asked any­one with in­for­ma­tion to call the dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice at 610-478-6000 or the state po­lice Ham­burg bar­racks at 610-562-6885.

MICHELLE MER­LIN/THE MORN­ING CALL

State po­lice in Berks County in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mys­te­ri­ous deaths of two young sib­lings in what the dis­trict at­tor­ney called a “very emo­tion­ally trou­bling” case are hop­ing to find clues within a gam­ing con­sole and other elec­tron­ics found in their Al­bany Town­ship home.

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