A teenaged mother is accused of leaving her two daughters in her SUV intentionally. Prosecutors blame that the 19-year old mother of two young children left her two and one year old daughters to die in a hot car.
Authorities claim that the woman left her daughters in the car for around fifteen hours and went partying with her friend’s in her house.
The woman, recognized as Amanda Hawkins, of Kerrville has been taken into custody. Her daughters, Addyson, 2, and Brynn, 1, didn’t survive the ordeal and died at a local hospital.
The Kerr County Sheriff’s Office in a press release said that the woman has been charged with counts of abandoning or endangering a child and is being held on $70,000 bail at the Bexar County Jail.
Authorities claim that the children gravely ill when they were taken to the hospital. Investigators claim that Amanda Hawkins made it sound like they’d collapsed mysteriously on an otherwise idyllic day.
Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer was quoted by the Washington Post as saying, “There’s a lake close to where they were…She said the little girls were walking around smelling flowers. She didn’t know if maybe they’d ingested or touched a poisonous flower.” He went on to add that it was “the most horrific case of child endangerment that I have seen in the 37 years that I have been in law enforcement.”
Rusty Hierholzer said, “She knew those kids were back there. She left them in that car,” he said. The woman had not taken her daughters to a park as she first claimed, authorities say, but rather to a friend’s house on Tuesday night, where she got out of the vehicle and left her children alone until noon the next day.
Investigators claim that the SUV’s windows were partially down during part of the 15 hours the kids were inside, and the temperature was about 60 degrees overnight, Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer told the Houston Chronicle. Temperatures rose to about 85 degrees at noon Wednesday, with humidity about 96 percent, meaning it could have felt like 105 degrees, the newspaper reports.
Investigators claim that during the night of partying, friends told Hawkins they could hear the girls crying. The friends told Hawkins to bring her daughters inside, but she refused, according to the sheriff. “She told them, ‘No it’s fine. They’ll cry themselves to sleep,’” the sheriff told the Washington Post. Hierholzer said the girls didn’t have food, water or bathroom visits during the 15 hours inside the SUV.
Brynn Hawkins’ father, Amanda’s husband, Isaac Hawkins, could not be reached for comment. Addyson Overgard-Eddy’s father, Austin Overgard, has also not commented. Neither father is being charged in connection with the girls’ deaths and they both do not appear to have played any role in the incident, authorities say.
Sheriff’s office said, “Upon discovering the girls, the mother attempted to (bathe) them and did not immediately want to take the girls to the hospital because she didn’t want to get into trouble”. Later she took the kids to University Hospital in San Antonio because of their condition. Both the girls were taken off ventilators and died about 5 p.m. Wednesday. An autopsy was conducted by the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office on June 9, but the results have not yet been released.
The woman is reportedly married to Isaac Hawkins and works at the Walmart Supercenter in Kerrville as a stocker. She attended Hill Country High School in Kerrville, which is about 65 miles outside of San Antonio. The couple has been facing financial trouble over the last few months. Their landlord sued them in Kerr County court. A judgment was awarded to the landlord on May 3, ordering the couple to pay her past rent of $1,984.99 and court costs of $211, with a post-judgement interest of 5 percent beginning May 4.