At what is normally the happiest of family destinations, a horror: Police investigating a call of a missing child at Bruster's Real Ice Cream in Auburn, Ala., before 1pm Saturday arrived to find the 3-year-old had been located but was unresponsive. Sadie Grace Andrews had been found in a 6-foot-deep in-ground grease trap and drowned, reports the Opelika-Auburn News. It's believed to have been an accident, with surveillance footage showing her playing with two of her five siblings in a picnic table-studded grassy area on the property and apparently falling through the lid. She was missing for no more than 10 minutes. AL.com reports on Lee County Coroner Bill Harris' description of the incident, which occurred during a trip to a location the family had been to previously.
Harris says the grease trap's lid wasn't locked or fastened in any way, and opened when Sadie stepped on it; the lid then closed with her inside. Mom Corrie Andrews shares a moving story with the newspaper: Sadie always slept with a blanket her grandmother had given her, but the morning before she died, she stuffed it in a bag and said she was a big girl who didn't need it anymore. Shop owners Lance and Kara Latham posted a statement on Facebook that reads in part, "Our deepest condolences go to the family of the child who tragically died Saturday. They are acquaintances of ours and have been regular customers. We are truly heartbroken that this happened. Our thoughts also are with our young crewmember who tried to revive the child. Like all of us, he is quite shaken." (Another tragedy claimed the life of an 8-year-old on Saturday.)