The 24-year-old man charged with involuntary manslaughter Friday for leaving his twin daughters to die in a hot car had been drinking, according to the police and the New York Daily News.
As reported by CBSNews, witnesses heard screams on Thursday to find Asa North at the parking lot in front of their home screaming and carrying his twin daughters to an inflatable pool at the back of his home. There, they helped Asa revive the two girls with water and ice packs. Their efforts proved futile as the toddlers were already unresponsive. Before long, the twin girls, identified as Ariel North and Alaynah North, were declared dead at a nearby hospital.
The police are investigating how long the twin toddlers were left inside the parked car. Before the police were called at 6:34 p.m., outside temperatures reached 90-degrees. At such high temperatures, it only takes a few minutes before the heat becomes unbearable, and that could prove fatal to anyone especially for two 15-month-old girls. Reports say that the father had been consuming alcoholic beverages before the incident occurred.
“We do believe alcohol is involved,” said Carrollton police Capt. Chris Dobbs. “We do believe the father, sometime throughout the day, he had been consuming alcoholic beverages.”
According to Carroll County records, Asa North has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of reckless conduct, as reported by CNN. The police are still waiting for the results of North’s blood tests, which would determine his alcohol level.
The twins’ mother was at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta to visit her sister, who was injured in a car crash, at the time of the incident, said Dobbs.
“I guess he forgot about the kids and left them in the car,” said the girls’ uncle, Donnie Holland. “He should have took care of them kids better than that, what he did. He should have never been in the house asleep. He should have got the kids out of the car the time he got out of the car, you know.”
The person who discovered the two toddlers in the back of the hot SUV has not been named.
“The neighbors heard some screaming – I guess coming from the father – and saw him running around back with the two children,” Dobbs said. “One of the neighbors got some ice packs out of the freezer and carried it out there.”
“It’s sad because I have grandchildren and I can’t even imagine my grandkids leaving me – and especially under those conditions – it was so hot today,” neighbor Regina Cleveland said.
Police officers who came to the scene performed CPR on the two girls, but it was far too late since they were already unresponsive by then. Autopsies were being performed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab, says GBI representative Scott Dutton on Friday.
The deaths of the twin girls mark the 25th and 26th time a child had died inside hot vehicles nationwide this year, twice as many as the amount of children who had died during summer in 2015, according to Janette Fennell, president and founder of KidsAndCars.org, an organization that keeps tracks of hot car deaths every year. Around this time in 2015, 12 children had died inside hot vehicles, said Fennell in an email Thursday night.
As stated in the group’s website, it only takes a few minutes for hot temperatures inside a hot car to become deadly, with 80-percent of the increase occurring in the first 10 minutes.
The twins’ deaths occurred as prosecutors in another Atlanta county prepare for the murder trial of Justin Ross Harris, a 35-year-old man accused of leaving his toddler son to die in a hot SUV on June 18, 2014.
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