CINCINNATI, OH — Cincinnati police and prosecutors are investigating the circumstances surrounding the teenager who was found dead in his van, hours after calling 911 and repeatedly begging for assistance.
Kyle Plush, 16, made two desperate calls to 911 before he died Tuesday from asphyxia due to chest compression inside his 2004 Honda Odyssey, authorities said.
The teen was getting tennis equipment from the van, a source close to the family told ABC News. Plush then became “trapped in the third-row bench seat,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters said.
Plush used Siri on his iPhone to call 911 from his crushed position in the van outside Seven Hills School — but the first call dropped.
Dispatcher Amber Smith answered when Plush called back, but appeared to have had a difficult time hearing him, Cincinnati’s police chief Eliot Isaac said on Thursday.
“This is not a joke,” Plush said. “I am trapped inside a gold Honda Odyssey van in the parking lot of Seven Hills … Send officers immediately. I’m almost dead.”
Plush’s words were picked up by the recording, even though Smith said she couldn’t hear any sounds on the line, according to documents from an internal review obtained by WCPO. She tried sending a text message to Plush — and calling him twice — but records show that the teen never responded.
Smith is scheduled to return to work on Wednesday after having been placed on administrative leave, according to new reports.
“Something went wrong here, and we need to find out why we weren’t able to provide that help,” Chief Eliot Isaac said at a news conference Thursday.
“(Smith) did not communicate with the caller, and the information from this second call was not relayed to the officers who were still on the scene at the time,” Isaac said.
Smith, in a previous incident, was able to assist a 911 caller by pinging the cellphone the child used to call for help. It’s not clear why that method was not used to find Plush.
Investigators have stated that they do not believe there was a failure in the phone system, but one of the internal documents states that the 911 operators’ computers experienced trouble at around that same time frame.
Isaac has ordered an internal investigation into the actions of all police department employees who were involved in the incident.
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Main photo: Kyle Plush [Cincinnati Police]