VINELAND, N.J., May 18 (UPI) -- A New Jersey boy fell into a grease pit and drowned days before his fourth birthday, police said.
Jordy Marmolejo was playing outside the Vineland supermarket his family owns when the freak accident occurred Tuesday afternoon, police Detective Lt. Matthew Finley told The Press of Atlantic City.
"It appears to be a tragic, tragic accident, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, but we will continue with the investigation until we reach a conclusion," he said Wednesday.
The 5-foot-deep pit, which stores used grease from the kitchen, is usually topped by a manhole cover, which had been removed to use the pit.
Store employees tried to rescue Jordy but failed.
When the rescue squad came to the scene, "you couldn't see into it. It was just a sludgy material," fire department Capt. Anthony Baldosaro said. "We stirred the poles around until we felt a little bump. Then we latched him on to the poles and pulled him up."
The child was unresponsive and in cardiac arrest, Emergency Medical Services Chief Al Lincks said. Medics tried to open an airway to resuscitate the boy on the way to South Jersey Healthcare Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.