A stop at a family fun spot turned into a nightmare for Corrie and Tracy Andrews when their 3-year-old daughter suddenly disappeared.
As KTLA reports, Sadie Grace Andrews was playing with two of her five siblings at Bruster’s Real Ice Cream in Auburn, Alabama, when she went missing. She was out of her parents’ sight for no more than 10 minutes.
The small child was found outside of the ice cream shop near the picnic table, but it was too late to save her — she had fallen into an in-ground grease trap that was 6 feet deep.
According to AL.com, Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said the grease trap’s lid wasn’t locked, which enabled the 3-year-old to open it up and fall inside before becoming trapped. There were no other safety features in place that could have prevented her from tumbling in it.
Surveillance video captured Sadie’s last moments of life — having fun with her siblings in a grassy area near the picnic table. First responders performed CPR, but she could not be revived.
Harris said of the incident:
“No foul play is suspected and the death investigation indicates that she drowned in the sludge that was in the six-foot-deep inground container.”
Through her tears, Sadie’s devastated mother described her as a “little blonde bundle of joy”:
“She would light up a room with her smile; she walked with a skip in her step. I’ve never met a more joyful child who loved God with all her heart.”
The mother has a chilling memory to hold onto that happened the morning of her daughter’s death. Corrie explained that Sadie always slept with a blanket her grandmother made for her, but on the morning of her death, she put the blanket in a bag saying she didn’t need it anymore:
“She said she was a big sister. That was huge for her to say that. Looking back, it’s as if she knew she wouldn’t need it anymore.”
Shop owners Lance and Kara Latham posted a statement on Facebook sharing their condolences for the loss of the young girl:
The family were regulars at their ice cream shop.
Sadie’s uncle, Chad Vermillion, started a YouCaring page for the family. He wrote:
A mother and dad should never have to bury their child. Make every moment special with your children — every one. Let them know how much you love them and how much they mean to you.
Sadie leaves behind her parents and five siblings, 7-year-old Sabrina, 6-year-old Piper, 4-year-old Cason, and twins Ryder and Judson, who will turn 2 in November.
The money from Vermillion’s YouCaring page will go to help the family with funeral costs and other expenses.