Suburban girl died of asphyxia, hypothermia in snowbank collapse

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, — The girl who died after a snowbank collapsed on top of her outside an Arlington Heights church died of asphyxia and hypothermia, the Cook County Medical Examiner said Monday.

Her death has been ruled an accident.

The medical examiner identified the child as 12-year-old Esther Jung. She was the youngest child of the pastor of Rothem Church.

First responders were called to the church at 106 E. College Dr. around 2:40 p.m. Sunday.

Jung and her 9-year-old friend were playing in a snowbank when a fort they built collapsed on top of them, officials said. The girls dug a tunnel through a large snow bank created by the plows.

According to police, the girls’ families were attending a church service when the children went outside to play. When the girls didn’t come back inside after an hour, their relatives found them trapped in the snow.

Jung was transported to Northwest Community Hospital, where she later died.

Nine-year-old Sophia Shin was hospitalized and is being treated for hypothermia. She was released from the hospital Monday.

Esther was a sixth grader at Collins Elementary School in Schaumburg.

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