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Cops: Dad was drinking before twin toddlers’ hot car deaths
Police say a father charged with manslaughter Friday in the deaths of his 15-month-old twin girls had been drinking before he left them in a hot car in 90-degree temperatures.
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. Neighbors joined him, frantically trying to revive the girls with water and ice packs.
But they were already unresponsive, and soon were declared dead at a nearby hospital.
Outside temperatures were in the 90s on Thursday before police were called at 6:34 p.m. Investigators were trying to determine how long the girls remained in the parked car, but it would take only a few minutes for the heat to become unbearable.
“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.”
North, 24, is charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of reckless conduct, Carroll County jail records show. 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.
The girl’s mother was at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta at the time, visiting her sister, who had been in a serious car crash Wednesday, Dobbs said.
Arriving officers performed CPR, but the girls were too far gone. Autopsies were being done at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab, GBI spokesman Scott Dutton said Friday morning.
The girls are the 25th and 26th children to die this year in hot vehicles, more than double the number by this point last summer, said Janette Fennell, president and founder of KidsAndCars.org, a group that tracks such deaths each year. By this date in 2015, 12 children had died in hot cars, Fennell said in an email Thursday night.