2-Year-Old Twins Saved After Dad Drives Truck off Cliff Into Ocean During Murder-Suicide Attempt


San Diego Police Officer Jonathan Wiese is being heralded a hero after saving twin 2-year-old girls who were submerged in the ocean after their father drove off Sunset Cliffs. The incident happened Saturday after 47-year-old Robert Brians took off with his daughter Hailey and Aubrey in what police are now calling a murder-suicide attempt.

  • Brians' wife called the San Diego Police Department at 4:30 a.m. to report that her husband drove off with their two young daughters.

    Dispatchers told police that Brians and his girls were traveling in a tan pickup truck and had allegedly threatened to drive off the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.

    Police were able to trace his cellphone to Sunset Cliffs, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Authorities located Brians, still in his truck, but as police Lt. Dave Bautista spotted the dad, he drove it over the edge of the cliff.

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  • Wiese was on his way to the scene when he heard the call that Brains had gone into the water.

    "Literally, my heart sank," he told the newspaper Sunday, adding that he remembered thinking to himself, "Please tell me the girls were not in the car."

    He finally reached the point where Brians had careened off the cliff, and as he peered over the edge, he could see the dad's pickup truck flipped upside down, smashed into a rock, with the cab underwater.

  • Wiese says he caught sight of a man in the water, holding onto two small girls.

    As a father to a 4-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl (shown above) the police officer's "dad instincts" immediately kicked in and he quickly assessed how he could get the family to safety.

    First, he thought he could jump off the cliff, but it was too dark out and the cliffside was rocky. He settled on using a 100-foot canine leash used for SWAT missions, wrapping it around his body as another officer lowered him over the 30-foot drop.

  • After he reached the bottom of the cliff, he jumped into the ocean where Brians was treading water while holding his daughters.

    Wiese recalled that one of the girls was crying and the other appeared to be "lifeless," although it's not clear which sister was which.

    He ushered all three family members to the shore. Wiese put the girl who looked to be in the worst shape into a canvas bag and, using the same leash he used to get down the cliff, attached it to the bag so other officers could hoist her up to safety.

    He did the same thing with the twin sister and stayed with Brians, who in his words was "was banged up pretty good," until a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department helicopter arrived to airlift him up.

  • All three family members were taken to the hospital.

    On a GoFundMe page set up by a friend of the girls' mother, Jenna, Colin Moore wrote that as of Monday, "both the girls are in stable condition at a local hospital."

    Moore wrote that on the morning that Brians left with their kids, "Jenna received numerous calls and texts from him clearly stating she may not see her kids again."

    "They will need assistance for future unplanned doctors visits etc. until they recover from the trauma as well as a team to get justice to keep their father in custody so this never happens again," the GoFundMe page noted.

  • Brians also survived the crash. 

    The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the father ultimately was taken into police custody and booked on charges of suspicion of two counts of attempted murder, two counts each of kidnapping and child cruelty, and one count of burglary.

    Prosecutors have until June 17 to file charges against Brians, and if they do decide to file charges, they will have 10 days to arraign him.

    As for Wiese, he's just happy that all three family members are safe.

    "That’s the best news you can have," he told the newspaper on Sunday. "All I care about is that those girls are going to live and have a second chance at life."

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