(Update) Twin toddlers found dead in Georgia heat. Foster parent now charged with murder


Author: Christopher Buchanan, 11 ALIVE NEWS

The high temperature for that day was 92 degrees. Police said 3-year-old Payton and Raelynn Keyes had been missing for hours.

HINESVILLE, Ga. — A Georgia caregiver has been charged with two counts each of second-degree murder and cruelty to children after two 3-year-old twin girls were found dead in a vehicle.

Hinesville Police announced the charges against Claudette Foster roughly two weeks after the deaths of Payton and Raelynn Keyes. On Sept. 29, the two little girls were found dead in the 200 block of Augusta Way in Hinesville, Georgia – a town of about 35,000 roughly 40 miles from Savannah, Georgia.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation joined the investigation and performed an autopsy on the children the next day finding both died from accidental heatstroke.

The investigation later uncovered enough information to secure arrest warrants against Foster, the foster mother of both Payton and Raelynn. Police made contact with Foster’s attorney and she turned herself in on Oct. 14 without incident.

NBC affiliate WSAV reports that foster was denied bond following her arrest and appearance before Liberty County Magistrate Judge Angela Roberts.

The Savannah station reports that Foster was contracted to take care of the children through the state of Georgia.

However, the children’s biological mother told WSAV that Foster mistreated her daughters in the past. She claims she reported bad behavior to the Georgia Division of Family and Children’s Services days before they died.

DFCS provided no details into the incident citing the criminal investigation but said it is working closely with law enforcement to “investigate this tragedy and to prevent future similar tragedies.”

WSAV reports the murder charges lodged against Foster were based on allegations that she was negligent in taking care of the children. Police said the children were initially missing for hours before they were discovered.

The high temperature for the day was 92 degrees – just one degree below the highest temperature recorded for the same day in previous years.