Lawyer: Trunk Boys Alive For Hours

These undated photos provided by their families in Camden, N.J., Thursday, June 23, 2005, show Daniel Agosto, 6; Jesstin Pagan, 5; and Anibal Cruz, 11. The boys were playing in the side yard of Cruz's Camden home at about 5 p.m. when they were last seen by relatives.
Three boys who suffocated in a car trunk last month were alive for at least 17 hours, slowly succumbing while police searched their neighborhood, a lawyer for the family of one of the boys says.

Lawyer Peter M. Villari told The New York Times that officials of the Camden County prosecutor's office went over details of an autopsy report with him, the newspaper reported Tuesday.

The boys, ages 5, 6 and 11, disappeared from the yard where they were playing a little after 5 p.m. on June 22. Their deaths were ruled accidental.

Relatives searched for the boys for three hours and then called authorities. A two-day search that included dogs, helicopters and boats on the nearby Delaware River ended when the father of one of the boys found them dead in the trunk of an inoperable car sitting just feet from where they had been playing.

The autopsy report, which has not been released publicly, found that the boys died between 10:30 a.m. on June 23 and 2:30 a.m. on June 24, Villari said. That estimate was based on fluid and tissue samples and weather data, he said.

Villari told the newspaper that responsibility for the deaths is now "squarely on the shoulders of the police."