TWO little girls have tragically died after their teenage mother allegedly locked them in her car for more than 15 hours so she could hang out with a “male friend” in the US state of Texas.
According to the Kerr County Sheriff’s office and Kerrville Police, the girls’ 19-year-old mother, Amanda Hawkins, locked them in the car while she hung out with a 16-year-old boy and other friends inside a house.
The toddlers, aged just 1 and 2, were allegedly left in the car for more than 15 hours, from Tuesday night until midday on Wednesday when their mother pulled them from vehicle unconscious.
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In a statement, Kerr County Sheriff W.R. “Rusty” Hierholzer said the 19-year-old woman had attempted to bathe her children and refused to take them to a hospital straight away out of fear she would be arrested.
Instead, Hawkins took the children to the Peterson Regional Medical Center in Kerrsville from where the pair was rushed to the University Hospital in San Antonio after they were determined to be in a “grave condition”.
Sadly, the girls could not be saved and passed away in hospital on Thursday afternoon.
The sheriff told CNN affiliate KABB that people inside the house reported hearing the children crying throughout the night but nobody went to check on them.
Hawkins had initially told hospital staff that she and the 16-year-old boy had taken the two children to a nearby lake where the girls collapsed after smelling flowers, insinuating that they must have been poisonous.
She has since been arrested and charged with two counts of abandoning or endangering a child and remains behind bars ahead of her court appearance.
It’s understood her charges could be upgraded after the case goes to a grand jury.
The devastating case comes just two weeks after two other young children died after being locked in their mother’s car outside a house in Parker County, west of Fort Worth.
According to the mother, the two-year-old girl and her 16-month-old brother were playing in a room at the back of their home with they disappeared.
She found them deceased a short time later, locked in her hot car. She told authorities they had the car keys and her mobile phone and so must have climbed into the car and locked themselves inside.
No charges have been filed yet in that case.