Parents in septic tank death denied custody

October 15, 2009 11:04:19 AM PDT
A judge won't let two young siblings of a 4-year-old Pennsylvania boy who drowned in a septic tank return to their parents' custody. Instead, a Beaver County judge on Thursday has ruled the sisters of Wyatt Smitsky should continue to stay with their grandparents for now.

A coroner says Wyatt drowned Sept. 5 in the septic tank on his family's property in Greene Township, about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. But authorities have yet to rule whether the boy accidentally fell into the tank or whether his death was the result of criminal negligence or some other crime.

The boy was playing with two young sisters when he went missing, prompting an 18-hour search.

A prosecutor says it's possible the boy removed the tank's 14-pound lid by himself before he wound up in the tank.

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