Amanda Katherine Hawkins, 19, is accused of leaving her two young children in a car for over 15 hours, which allegedly resulted in both the children’s deaths. After a joint investigation by the Kerrville Police Department, Kerr County Sheriff’s Office, Child Protective Services, and the Texas Rangers, the mother of two daughters was arrested yesterday in San Antonio. The accused claims that her children collapsed after stopping to “smell the flowers.” Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer said in a press release posted on Facebook that this is the most horrific case of child endangerment that he has come across in the 37 years he has been in law enforcement.
Law enforcement officials state in the press release that on June 6, Hawkins left Brynn Hawkins, 1, and Addyson Overgard-Eddy, 2, inside a vehicle while she and her friends were inside of a residence. The children were left in the car overnight, until around noon on June 7. Sheriff Hierholzer estimates that the two girls were inside the vehicle for over 15 hours.
The investigation into Amanda Katherine Hawkins began when the accused and an unidentified 16-year-old male took the children to Peterson Regional Medical Center, located in the Hill Country town of Kerrville, Texas. They were admitted in “grave condition” and transferred to University Hospital in San Antonio.
“Amanda advised hospital personnel that the two girls, herself, and the 16-year-old had been at Flat Rock Lake and the girls were smelling flowers and that when they got ready to leave, the one-year-old collapsed and shortly after that, the two-year-old also collapsed.”
A police investigation was launched, and it was determined that Hawkins intentionally left her young children in the vehicle overnight. When Amanda went to check on her children the next day, she tried to bathe them. The suspect did not take her children to the hospital immediately because she was afraid of getting into trouble.
“An investigation was started by the above agencies and as a result, it was determined that the two young girls had actually been left in their mother’s vehicle intentionally for over 15 hours, overnight on June 6, 2017, and until around noon on June 7, 2017, while she and other friends were inside a residence. Upon discovering the girls, the mother attempted to bath them and did not immediately want to take the girls to the hospital because she didn’t want to get into trouble.”
On June 8, at around 5 p.m., both Brynn Hawkins and Addyson Overgard-Eddy died at University Hospital. The investigation is ongoing, and autopsies are scheduled to be performed today. At the time of the press release, Hawkins was charged with two felony counts of abandoning or endangering a child. Bonds have been set at $35,000 for each count.
Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer said in the press release that the charges against the 19-year-old mother could be upgraded after the case goes in front of a grand jury. Hawkins was arrested in Bexar County and will be transferred to Kerr County.
“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. Now, with the death of the girls, the charges could be upgraded after this case is presented to a grand jury. This case will be handled by 216th Judicial District Attorney Lucy Wilke.”
It is possible that after the autopsies of Brynn Hawkins and Addyson Overgard-Eddy are completed, the charges could be upgraded to murder. It is not clear if Amanda Katherine Hawkins has retained an attorney yet or not.
Speaking to FOX San Antonio, the sheriff added that the deaths were preventable and Hawkins leaving them in the car overnight was not an accident. It was later revealed by authorities that Hawkins’ 16-year-old male companion went to the SUV at one point. He checked on the children and spent some time with them. However, he did not take them out of the vehicle or get them help. According to Heavy, Hawkins was at a friends house partying and others heard the babies crying. However, Amanda refused to bring them inside, the Washington Post reported
“She told them, ‘No it’s fine. They’ll cry themselves to sleep.”
— KRBC News (@KRBCnews) June 9, 2017
During the 15 hours the two toddlers were left in the car, they had no food, water, or access to the restroom. It was also a warm day and the Texas Hill Country is known for its intense humidity. That day, humidity was at 96 percent, which means it felt like it was 105 degrees. As most know, temperatures inside of a vehicle trap heat, making it even hotter.
“These children were left in that car intentionally. Helpless little kids. And it was totally preventable.”
[Featured Image by John Li/Getty Images]