Amanda Hawkins, 19, from Kerr County, Texas, allegedly left her children Brynn Hawkins, one, and Addyson Overgard-Eddy, two, in the car overnight and ignored them even as they cried for hours late Tuesday.
The girls were unconscious and in ‘grave condition’ by the time Hawkins sent them to the hospital on Wednesday – a day after they’d been left in the car.
Hospital officials pronounced the children dead on Thursday.
Hawkins and her husband, Isaac, set up a GoFundMe last December to raise money for a new home.
‘I’m trying to raise money to get us into a home,’ her post on the fundraising site read.
‘We are living with my grandparents. We are both working but it’s still hard. Any help is greatly appreciated. We will be buying this house.’
The Hawkins’ fundraising goal is $1,500, but they are yet to receive any donations, the site shows.
Since then, Isaac Hawkins has been estranged from his wife, according to My San Antonio.
Police released a statement on Friday about the case.
‘This is by far the most horrific case of child endangerment that I have seen in the 37 years that I have been in law enforcement,’ Kerr County Sheriff Hierholzer said.
Hawkins left her two daughters in the car on Tuesday at around 9pm while she hung out with a 16-year-old male friend and others inside a house nearby, according to a news release from the Kerr County Police Department.
When little Brynn and Addyson cried during the night, the Walmart employee ignored them even when her friends alerted her, the sheriff told KABB.
The sheriff also said Hawkins’ male friend slept for a while in the car during the night but did not take the children out.
Her husband Isaac was apparently not present when she allegedly abandoned her kids.
Isaac is the father of Brynn Hawkins.
Addyson Overgard-Eddy’s father is Austin J. Overgard. Neither of the fathers were reached for comment.
The young mom finally took her kids out of the car at noon on Wednesday – when the temperature in Texas was as high as 92 degrees – and found them unconscious.
Believing she would get into trouble, she decided not to report it, police say.
But after her male friend convinced her Brynn and Addyson needed medical attention, she finally sent them to the Peterson Regional Medical Center in Kerrsville, on Thursday.
Their condition was so bad they had to be transferred to the University Hospital in San Antonio, more than an hour drive away.
Brynn and Addyson died at 5pm, mere hours after they had arrived in the hospital.
She had initially told doctors they had suddenly become unconscious after they smelled flowers at a local park.
Police investigated and questioned Hawkins before she confessed to leaving her children in the hot car.
She was arrested on Thursday and has been charged with two counts of abandoning or endangering a child, although police say these charges may be upgraded since the children died.
She is being held on $70,000 bond.
If she’s found guilty under the present charges, she could face up to two years in prison.
A friend of Hawkins, Miriam Davis, who has known her since middle school, told KSAT 12 that she noticed Hawkins treating her children badly and regrets not calling Child Protection Services.
‘I hesitated for so long because I didn’t want her kids in the system,’ she told the station. ‘But I didn’t know they would die.’