Preliminary autopsy rules heatstroke was cause of death for twin toddlers in Hinesville

Identities of children found dead in Hinesville car released

HINESVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) - Hinesville Police are investigating after 3-year-old twin girls were found dead inside of a car in Hinesville on Sunday afternoon.

Police have identified the two girls as Raelynn Keyes and Payton Keyes.

The preliminary autopsy report released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday, Oct. 1, states the cause of death for the twins was heatstroke. The deaths have been ruled accidental.

Captain Tracey Howard with Hinesville PD says that officers found the two girls inside of a vehicle in the backyard of a Griffin Park residence shortly after 1:30 p.m.

Capt. Howard said this is not the little girls’ family home, but that they often spend time at the home. They had been with their foster parents and two other siblings for about a year-and-a-half. He says the people who live in the home were found to have some kind of relationship with the foster parents that investigators are still working to sort through. He says they’ve been speaking with the foster parents, who are still in a state of shock, and that the foster parent was not home when the girls went missing.

“The foster parent for the children was the first person to call 911. Other members of the family, to include the person who resides at that residence, were all actively looking for the two girls, because initially, it was discovered that they were just not where they should have been inside the home," Capt. Howard said.

According to a news release from Hinesville PD, the foster parent could not locate the children inside the home after searching during the morning. The search was expanded to the backyard and surrounding area in the neighborhood.

The foster parent returned home to resume the search and recheck the backyard. It was during this second search that the children were found inside the parked vehicle.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department, and the Hinesville PD are all working together on this case.

“We’re putting all of those pieces of that puzzle together to try and make a determination of what led to their death," Capt. Howard said.

Police have tracked down the birth parents to inform them.

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