The Munroe family were preparing for Sunday dinner when they discovered the kids had been locked in the chest.
Once removed, 7-year-old Lexi, and her 8-year-old brother Sean were not able to be revived.
The Boston Globe reports there were several people in the house at the time but no one saw the kids climb into the trunk.
Once the lid was closed it automatically locked, trapping the children inside.
The Norfolk District Attorney told CBS Boston the chest was in a bedroom and close to a TV set.
"The hope chest was in relatively close proximity to a television that was apparently on with a substantial volume at the time," he noted.
Several reports indicate the chest was made by Lane Furniture and was among a group of over 12 million that were subject to a recall in 1996 after six children were killed in similar fashion.
Lane’s website still offers replacement locks for the recalled products.