Father arrested in deaths of twin girls found in hot car had been drinking: police
Neighbours frantically tried to revive toddlers with ice packs in a baby pool
Police say a father charged with manslaughter Friday in the deaths of his 15-month-old twin girls near Atlanta had been drinking before he left them in a car when the temperature was 32 C.
Witnesses heard screams and saw Asa North running as he carried the toddlers from the parking lot in front of their home to an inflatable pool out back. Neighbours joined him, frantically trying to revive the girls with water and ice packs.
North, 24, of Carrollton was arrested early Friday, local news outlets reported. North is charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of reckless conduct, Carroll County jail records show.
Someone discovered the twins unresponsive in the back seat of an SUV parked in front of a duplex Thursday night, Carrollton police said.
Arriving officers found people holding the girls in a nearby baby pool, trying to cool the children off. Some had ice packs.
"We do believe alcohol is involved," said Carrollton police Capt. Chris Dobbs, who identified the girls as Ariel North and Alaynah North. "We do believe the father, sometime throughout the day, he had been consuming alcoholic beverages."
Police were awaiting the results of blood tests to determine his alcohol level. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had a lawyer who could be contacted for comment.
"I guess he forgot about the kids and left them in the car," said Donnie Holland, the twins' uncle. "He should have took care of them kids better than that, what he did. He should have never been in the house asleep. He should have got the kids out of the car the time he got out of the car, you know."
26 U.S. child deaths in cars this year
The twins were taken to a hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
Police said the mother was in Atlanta at the time.
The six-unit, brick duplex building is on a dead-end street in a modest middle-class neighbourhood in the town about 72 kilometres west of Atlanta.
The front of the building is covered with several TV satellite dishes, and police tape was still in place behind the duplexes Friday morning as some residents left for work and a nurse returned home from an overnight shift. Most of them declined to speak about what had happened.
The deaths of the twin girls come as prosecutors in another metro Atlanta county prepare for the murder trial of Justin Ross Harris, 35. He's accused of intentionally leaving his toddler son to die in a hot SUV for about seven hours on June 18, 2014.
Harris's trial was moved to the coastal Georgia city of Brunswick after a judge agreed with defence lawyers that an impartial jury could not be found in the Atlanta area. The trial is expected to begin in September.
Nationwide, the girls who died in Carrollton are the 25th and 26th children to die this year in hot vehicles, more than double the number who had died by this point in the summer during 2015, said Janette Fennell, president and founder of KidsAndCars.org, a group that tracks such deaths each year.
By this time last year, 12 children had died in hot cars, Fennell said in an email Thursday night.