Texas authorities said that two young sisters died after their mother left them in a car on purpose for more than 15 hours on Friday night.
Two children passed away
In a new statement, Kerr County Sheriff W.R. “Rusty” Hierholzer said Amanda Hawkins, 19, who was the girls’ mother, was accused of abandoning or endangering a child.
At first, Hawkins and a 16-year-old male friend accompanied the girls to Peterson Regional Medical Center in Kerrsville, but the girls’ condition was severe and both were admitted to the University Hospital in San Antonio, the statement said.
Brynn Hawkins, 1, and Addyson Overgard-Eddy, 2, passed away in the hospital around 5 p.m. Thursday.
At first, Hawkins told the hospital that she, her friend and her two little infants had visited a nearby lake where the girls lost consciousness or collapsed after they smelled flowers. However, the authorities believed that the mother’s claims gave rise to suspicion.
“They thought maybe they’d gotten into something poisonous — that’s what their story was.” Hierholzer told CNN affiliate KABB.
Investigators with the Kerr County Sheriff’s office and Kerrville Police concluded that the children actually had been abandoned inside their mother’s car for 15 hours from Tuesday night until noon Wednesday.
The sheriff didn’t provide much information about the reason behind the deaths but told CNN affiliate KABB that temperatures hit the 90s during the day on Wednesday.
“She left them in the car — intentionally in the car — while she and the 16-year-old male friend were in the house,” the sheriff told KABB. “They were in the house all night. The male friend for a little bit went to sleep in the car a little while but then went back to the house.”
People in the house said that they heard children crying; however, nobody went to check on them, he told KABB.
“This is by far the most horrific case of child endangerment that I have seen in the 37 years that I have been in law enforcement.” Hierholzer, said.
Hawkins was detained in San Antonio and was imprisoned in the Bexar County Jail before she got sent to the Kerr County Jail.