Twin baby boys were found dead inside a car in the parking lot of a South Carolina day care center Wednesday, authorities said. Someone called 911 after finding the babies at the Sunshine House Early Learning Academy on U.S. Highway 21 in the Columbia suburb of Blythewood, investigators said.
Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford said the identical twin boys may have been left in a car for 9 1/2 hours before EMS was called. It’s unclear if the deaths were accidental or a criminal act, CBS affiliate WLTX reported.
Rutherford gave an update at a news conference where she identified the children who died as Bryson and Brayden McDaniel, who were 20 months old.
Rutherford said the day care staff was not involved or complicit in the deaths. She wouldn’t say who had driven the children to the center, other than saying it was a “parent,” citing the ongoing investigation by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
Rutherford said the children were enrolled at the day care and were supposed to be at the facility all day, WLTX reported.
“We have two very distraught parents,” Rutherford said.
Bonita Belton, whose children attended a Sunshine House location, told WLTX that “a lot of people are hurting right now.”
“No parent plans to bury their children. We plan for our children to bury us. This is just really tough,” she said.