On May 26 this year – a sweltering day in Weatherford, Texas – Cynthia Marie Randolph was horrified to find both of her very young children suffocating in their family Honda Crosstour.
According to Cynthia’s initial version, she had been folding laundry while watching television when she noticed that the house was suspiciously quiet. She couldn’t hear a sound coming from the sun room where her 2-year-old daughter, Juliet, and 16-month-old son, Cavanaugh, always played.
Cynthia told investigators that she had been searching the home for half an hour before deciding to look for her children outside. It’s then that Cynthia, according to her version, saw her babies trapped inside the Honda.
Neither Juliet nor Cavanaugh were conscious at the time, which is not surprising considering that temperatures had soared to at least 96 degrees in Weatherford on May 26.
Miss Randolph hurriedly called emergency services, but it was too late. Medics pronounced both toddlers dead on arrival.
Investigators from the Parker County Sheriff’s Office were told that the children could not have been locked in the car for “more than an hour.” Although Miss Randolph seemed confident of her version of events at the time, authorities soon noticed discrepancies in further accounts provided in the month following the tragedy.
Officers allege that Cynthia “created several variations of the events” that transpired on May 26, which led them to suspect that the 25-year-old mother may have been directly responsible for the death of her children.
Moreover, after autopsy reports were finalized, it was revealed that the toddlers had succumbed to the fatal effects of heatstroke. As a result, the medical examiner determined that both deaths were, in fact, homicides.
Investigators say that Miss Randolph’s version of events had changed multiple times, which is when they began to suspect foul play.
The Independent reports that an affidavit detailed by Cynthia after her arrest revealed that she had intentionally left her children in the burning hot car to punish them for not wanting to exit the vehicle willingly.
It was also determined that after locking Juliet and Cavanaugh in the Honda, their mother went into the house to smoke marijuana and take a nap. Police allege that Miss Randolph had disappeared for two to three hours, during which time her babies asphyxiated.
Upon discovering her unconscious children, Cynthia allegedly broke a car window to make it look like the incident was an accident.
So far, authorities have only charged Cynthia Marie Randolph with two counts of first-degree injury to a child causing serious bodily harm, and it remains unclear if and when the charges could be upgraded to a more serious crime.
According to Parker County records Randolph is still in custody.
[Featured Images by ChameleonsEye and Parker County Sheriff’s Office/Getty Images and Shutterstock]