Mother’s ‘lesson’ proves fatal for two toddlers

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Two toddlers in Weatherford, Texas are dead after their mother left them in a hot car to “teach them a lesson.” She is now under arrest.

According to Parker County Sheriff’s investigators, Cynthia Marie Randolph, 25, called police to her home near Lake Weatherford on May 26. Randolph told police she found her two kids locked inside a vehicle. The children, a 16-month-old boy and a 2-year-old girl, were unresponsive.

The two were reportedly found shortly after 4 p.m. when the temperature was around 96 degrees outside. Police pronounced both children dead shortly after 4:30 p.m.

Randolph initially said she’d been watching TV and folding laundry while while her kids played on an enclosed back porch. She reported that she didn’t notice the children were “gone” right away, saying 20 to 30 minutes passed before she realized they were no longer on the porch. After more than half an hour looking for her kids, Randolph told police she found them locked inside her car and broke a window to get them out. Randolph said her kids often played in her car, and couldn’t have been in the vehicle for more than an hour.

During multiple interviews, police say Randolph’s story changed many times. After a Texas Ranger and special agent from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Dallas Field Office conducted a final interview with Randolph on Friday, she implicated herself in the death of her children.

According to police, Randolph confessed that she found her children playing inside her car around noon. Using profanity, she ordered her daughter out of the vehicle, but the 2-year-old refused to exit. Randolph admitted that she shut the car door, believing that “she could get herself and her brother out of the car when ready.” Randolph told police her intent was to teach her daughter a “lesson.”

After leaving her children in a hot car, Randolph went inside her house and smoked marijuana, falling asleep for two to three hours, according to her confession. She further implicated herself when she told investigators she’d broken the car window in an effort to make it appear to be an accident.

Randolph was booked into the Parker County Jail, charged with two first-degree felony counts of injury to a child causing serious bodily injury.

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