Sheriff calls twin toddler deaths in hot car ‘tragic accident’ in S.C.; no charges filed

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 4:15 PM CDT
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BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. (WIS/Gray News) - A father who left his 20-month-old twin boys in a hot car for nine hours won’t be charged in their deaths, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said Tuesday.

The decision not to prosecute the dad was made by the solicitor’s office after a three-week investigation by the sheriff’s department, WIS-TV reported.

“It was just a horrible, tragic accident that occurred,” Lott said.

According to the sheriff, the father was under intense pressure at work Sept. 1 and forgot to take the toddlers to day care and drop them off.

At the end of the workday, he went to pick them up, but day care workers said the twins weren’t there. A short time later, the dad found the boys dead in the backseat in their rear-facing car seats.

Lott said the father tried to revive them, but there was nothing he could do.

According to coroner Naida Rutherford, the heat index inside the SUV that day was 120 degrees, saying the twins died from hyperthermia or heat stroke.

Lott said the father’s interview with police was gut-wrenching and no one could have faked that kind of raw emotion.

The sheriff said incident was a terrible accident and asked for everyone to pray for the family to find peace.

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