S.C. dad won’t face charges for accidentally leaving twin sons in car

The father worked a full day's work, believing he dropped his twins off at daycare, according to police

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South Carolina investigators have decided not to file charges against the father of 20-month-old twin boys, Brycen and Brayden McDaniel, whom he accidentally left inside of an overheated car.

PEOPLE Magazine reports that the toddler twins were discovered dead inside a car outside the Sunshine House Early Learning Academy location in Blythewood, South Carolina, on Sept. 1.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said that their father — who has yet to be identified and will not be in light of not being charged with a crime — is an employee at a local manufacturing plant. Lott explained that the father was dealing with “some intense pressure” at his job prior to the tragic incident. 

Brycen and Brayden McDaniel thegrio.com
Brycen and Brayden McDaniel (Credit: Bostick Tompkins Funeral Home)

“It’s a horrible, tragic accident that happened that day,” he said. “The father was under some intense pressure at work that really had his mind somewhere else that day,” Lott told the public. “In his mind, he really believed he dropped the two boys off at daycare. There was no doubt in his mind that he’d done that.”

The news conference was available to stream live on Facebook.

Later in the evening, the father went back to the daycare to retrieve the boys. He was told the boys were not there. He noticed their lifeless bodies in the backseat of the car. He attempted giving the boys CPR but was unsuccessful. 

“He didn’t mean to do it. God, he didn’t mean to do it. He’s got to live with that the rest of his life,” Lott said. “Everybody that was involved in this case has been touched by it – the coroner’s office, the EMS workers, the dispatchers, our deputies – are all going through counseling. This is something that will get you as a parent. You don’t even have to be a parent for it to emotionally have an impact on you.”

On the day of the incident, the heat index in the car was 120 degrees on Richland County Coroner Nadia Rutherford said during the conference that the boys likely did not suffer. She added the tragedy “didn’t take long” to occur. The boys’ manner of death was ruled accidental and their cause of death is listed as hyperthermia per an autopsy report.

Lott said the father was interviewed by police after the discovery. He said it was “one of the [most] heart-wrenching interviews you ever had to see,” adding, “The pure emotion that came out was not something you could fake.”

He also noted the investigation over the past few weeks was “intense” and that “no question was left unanswered.”

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