There will be no charges against the father of 20-month-old twins Brycen and Brayden McDaniel, who died after being left in the backseat of a hot car.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced the father would not be charged during a news conference on Tuesday, reported WLTX. The sheriff called the incident a “tragic accident.”
“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.
The McDaniel twins died on September 1. Their father was supposed to drop them off at a daycare in Blythewood, South Carolina, but he forgot due to “some intense pressure” at his job.
“The father was under some intense pressure at work that really had his mind somewhere else that day,” Lott said. “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.”
Brycen and Brayden’s father went to work, and when he was done with his shift, he drove to the daycare to pick them up. When he arrived, the daycare workers told him the twins never showed up. He went back to his car, and that’s when he discovered their bodies in the backseat. The babies were still strapped into their car seats.
The father tried to administer lifesaving methods, but he was unsuccessful. During the news conference, Coroner Naida Rutherford said temperatures inside the vehicle reached about 120 degrees on the day the twins died, according to WMBF. The twins died from hyperthermia or excessive heat.
After a three-week investigation, the sheriff’s office sent their findings to the solicitor’s office, who declined to press charges.
Lott recalled the outpouring of grief from the father during an interview with investigators.
“One of the most heart-wrenching interviews,” Lott said. “Pure emotion came out. It’s not something you could fake.”
Rutherford gave poignant advice to parents and childcare providers.
“We urge each parent there are so many stressors with Covid 19, with the world-changing to look in the backseat. Make sure you dropped off the children,” she said. “For every childcare center, baby center, we urge you if the child does not show up to call the family. It could save a life.”