A woman from San Antonio, Texas, was arrested and charged with child endangerment after leaving her two daughters in a car for 15 hours. They did not survive.
Amanda Hawkins brought her daughters, aged 1 and 2, to a medical center in San Antonio, claiming that the girls collapsed while running around and smelling flowers and that they might have come in contact with something poisonous.
Authorities later determined, however, that the girls were intentionally left in their mother’s car overnight on June 6. Hawkins, 19, was inside a friend’s home with a 16-year-old male the entire 15 hours that her girls were left in the car.
Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer told KABB that at some point, the 16-year-old male went to the car to sleep before going back inside. Hierholzer added that someone in the house warned Hawkins that her children were crying, but she neglected to bring them inside.
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“She said, 'No, they're fine. They'll cry themselves to sleep,'” Hierholzer told KSAT.
The babies were without water and food for the entire time were never let out to use the restroom or be changed.
Hawkins reportedly did not immediately take her children to the hospital but rather tried to bathe and redress them initially in an attempt to cover up the situation. The children were unconscious while being dressed.
Hierholzer said that it was Hawkins’ friends who convinced her to take her children to the hospital.
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This was, he said, was the “most horrific case of child endangerment” he’d seen in his 37-year career.
Miriam Davis, Hawkins’ childhood friend, told KSAT that she remembered the children well.
“Addy was so helpful. She would like to go get you things and bring ‘em to you,” she said of 2-year-old Addyson. “Brynn was just learning how to walk and she was toddling all over the place,” she added of the 1-year-old.
Davis said she and Hawkins stopped hanging out about a month before the incident because of the way the woman treated her children.
Davis added that she regretted not calling Child Protective Services on Hawkins when she had the chance. “I guess I just hesitated for so long. I didn't want her kids to be in the system, but I didn't know they would die if they didn’t,” she said.
“If anyone feels something's not right, they need to call CPS, because you don't want two kids to die. It's just not fair,” she said.
Hierholzer said the charges against Hawkins could be upgraded after the case is presented to a grand jury.