A Texas woman has been arrested by police on charges of child endangerment after killing her two daughters by deliberately leaving them locked up in a hot car overnight. Nineteen-year-old Amanda Hawkins from Kerrville left her two daughters, a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old, locked up in the back of her SUV on purpose, according to the police in Kerr County, Texas. The two girls eventually died after suffocating inside the hot car for over 15 hours, as temperatures soared up to 90 degrees that night. In the meantime, Amanda was visiting friends.
Amanda reportedly brought her two girls to the Peterson Regional Medical Center on Wednesday in “grave condition.” She claimed that the girls had collapsed during an outing at Flat Rock Park. But it didn’t take long for the officials to find out that she had actually locked them up in her SUV for 15 hours straight. The 19-year-old was subsequently arrested on charges of child endangerment, My San Antonio reports.
Two-year-old Addyson Overgard-Eddy and 1-year-old Brynn Hawkins were moved to University Hospital from Peterson on Thursday, where they sadly passed away around 5 p.m.
Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer announced Hawkins’ arrest on Friday. In his statement, he described the crime as the most horrific case of child endangerment he had seen during his 37 years of service.
“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.”
Amanda Hawkins was arrested in San Antonio on Friday and as of late Friday was still being held in Bexar County, awaiting her transfer to Kerr County. Her bail is set at $70,000, and she has been charged with two counts of “abandoning or endangering a child”, one count for each of her two daughters.
Investigators found out that the girls had been locked up inside the SUV from around 9 p.m. Tuesday until mid-day Wednesday. During this time, Amanda was visiting her friends inside a nearby residence. According to the news release by the police, Amanda found her two girls in an unconscious state on Wednesday around noon.
“The mother attempted to (bathe) them and did not immediately want to take the girls to the hospital because she did not want to get into trouble.”
County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer said that while the temperature started at around 60 degrees at night, it eventually soared up to 85 degrees by Wednesday noon. But since the humidity was around 96 percent at the time, the 85 degrees could have felt like 105 degrees.
The death of the two girls has saddened family members and other residents of the region.
Amanda’s mother, Alisha Eddy, was all tears on Friday when reported tried to get her to talk about the tragedy, My San Antonio reports.
“I had the two most beautiful grandbabies. I don’t agree with what happened. … But I love my daughter. I’m there for my daughter.”
Court documents have shown that Amanda Hawkins and her husband Issac Hawkins were also under investigation by Child Protective Services last year. The details of last year’s investigation hasn’t been revealed yet. However, investigators have verified that Issac Hawkins wasn’t present when Amanda left her girls in the SUV to die. Issac is said to be estranged from his wife.
Court documents also show that Amanda and Issac were evicted from a local duplex in May. At one point, the couple had reportedly sought a financial assistance of $1,500 on GoFundMe but failed to receive any funding.
Texas currently has the highest rate in the United States of children dying inside overheated vehicles. Between 1991 and 2016, there have been 112 hot-car deaths, according to a stat by KidsAndCars.org.
[Featured Image by Igor Marusichenko/Shutterstock]