TWO kids have been found dead inside a locked antique chest while left home alone as cops launched a murder probe.
Anna and Mikhail Presnov, 10 and 7, climbed into the family heirloom and suffocated after a latch closed preventing them opening the heavy lid – Ukraine cops say as they refuse to rule out foul play.
The youngsters were home alone in the village of Mykilske when their parents went to dig potatoes as seasonal workers some 18 miles away.
Footage shows the funeral of the tragic sister and brother, whose school was closed for the day.
They were buried next to each other.
Their parents Svetlana, 35, and Stanislav, 41, say they spoke to the children at 10am but an hour later, they feared something was wrong when the kids failed to answer the phone.
They didn’t raise the alarm with neighbours but instead waited for their bus home in the late afternoon, and began a search for the missing girl and boy.
“I took a bicycle, Svetlana went on foot along the nearby streets looking for them, but there were no signs of them,” Stanislav said.
The pair had been seen playing outside in the morning but a police sniffer dog directed officers back into the family home.
They then found the bodies inside the antique wooden chest, which had been passed from generation to generation in the family, originally as a dowry.
A statement from National Police in Ukraine said: “During a search of the house, the children were found in an old chest with no signs of life.
“The forensic service is currently working at the scene. The circumstances are being established.
“Police are considering all versions of the deaths of the brother and sister.”
A murder case has been opened.
Stanislav said: “Police say it was most likely an accident. They got inside, the chest closed and they suffocated.
“There a bracket through which to put a padlock. The latch might close in a way they could not open it from the inside.
“But the point is that they could have lifted the lid so that there was a gap for air…”
Svetlana Zhigailo, the children’s headteacher, said at the funeral: “The children loved their parents and the parents loved the children.”
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