Two young children were found dead Friday in Parker County, Texas, in what appeared to be a hot car incident.
According to a news release from the sheriff’s office, the mother of the children — a 2-year-old girl and a 16-month-old boy — found them in a locked vehicle.
The Tarrant County medical examiner’s website identified the children as Juliet and Cavanaugh Ramirez.
Parker County Sheriff’s Capt. Mark Arnett told CNN that according to the mother, the children were playing in a back room of their home when they disappeared. After searching the home, the mother began looking outside, where she eventually found them locked inside the car.
She told investigators that when she found them, one of the children had her cellphone and car keys, Arnett said.
She reportedly broke a window to reach the children, but both were unresponsive, according to the news release. She added that the children had gotten into the car and locked themselves inside.
“The question is, can a 2-year-old open a car door and a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old climb inside and lock it,” Arnett said. “In the course of the investigation, if charges are warranted, I’m sure the district attorney’s office will bring them.”
Authorities were alerted to the incident just after 4 p.m., the news release said, when the temperature outside had reached 96 degrees. The children were pronounced dead.
The ongoing investigation is a joint effort between the Parker County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers, Arnett told CNN.
“This case is in the early stages of the investigation,” Sheriff Larry Fowler said in the release. “Any comment regarding this case at this time would be an assumption until all of the facts are gathered.”
Parker County is west of Fort Worth.