Mom Locked 2 Toddlers in a Hot Car to Teach Them a 'Lesson,' Police Say

red car
iStock.com/123ducu

In most cases, hot car deaths are tragic accidents. But a recent incident in Texas that claimed the lives of two toddlers is making headlines for a very different reason: Last month, 2-year-old Juliet and her 1-year-old brother, Cavanaugh, were found dead inside their mother's car, and authorities say the mom has admitted she locked the toddlers in the car on purpose to teach them "a lesson" for some bad behavior.

Advertisement

The children were found locked in the car in the driveway of their Fort Worth, Texas, home on a day when temperatures soared to 96 degrees. Initially, the Parker County sheriff's office says their mom, Cynthia Marie Randolph, claimed her children were playing outside and somehow managed to get into the vehicle. She reportedly told police she found the toddlers locked in her car with her keys and cell phone and even claimed she broke her car window to try to save them.

More from CafeMom: 10-Year-Old's Genius Invention Could Stop Hot Car Deaths

Now, police say the 24-year-old mom has completely changed her story. According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by NBC News, Randolph confessed that she found her children playing in her car unattended and left them there intentionally. "When they refused to leave the car, the defendant said she shut the door to teach Juliet a lesson, thinking she could get herself and her brother out of the car when ready," authorities wrote in the affidavit.

After that, the mom allegedly went inside the house, smoked some marijuana, and took a nap for "several hours," before finding her kids unresponsive in the vehicle and breaking a car window to make the incident look like an accident. She now faces two felony charges of injury to a child.

Hot cars kill an average of 37 children each year, and 14 kids have already died in 2017. While most hot car deaths are tragic accidents, according to a hot car death prevention campaign called No Heat Stroke, around 17 percent of those deaths are intentional. Already this year, a Texas mom was charged after she allegedly left her two daughters alone in a hot car for over 15 hours.

More form CafeMom: 7 Tips to Ensure You Don't Leave Your Baby in a Hot Car (Yes, You) 

In an effort to keep kids safe, NBC News reports Representative Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, recently introduced the Hot Cars Act of 2017. If passed, the bill would require all new cars to come equipped with a system for alerting drivers if there's still a child in the back seat after the vehicle is turned off.

Hopefully, that bill will result in a law that not only prevents heartbreaking accidental deaths from hot cars, but also keeps parents with criminal intentions from being able to claim they were unaware they had a child in the car.

In 2017, it's time to put a stop to these horrific tragedies for good.

Read More >