HINESVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) - Police say the foster parent for twins who were found dead in a car in Hinesville has now been arrested.
The Hinesville Police Department says Claudette Foster turned herself in Monday morning to detectives.
Foster has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree cruelty to children. She made her first appearance Tuesday before a Magistrate at the Liberty County Jail. Foster cried when her bond was denied.
Hinesville Police say 3-year-old twins, Raelynn and Payton Keyes, were found dead inside a car in September. According to police, Foster says the girls went missing the morning of Sept. 29. The detective says the children climbed into the car because they weren’t being watched, which is what led to these charges.
The detective says the cruelty charges are a result of Foster’s neglect in supervising the girls. The detective on the case says the fact that she’s not an American citizen played into the judge denying her bond.
The preliminary autopsy report released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation states the cause of death for the twins was heatstroke and was ruled accidental.
In light of that, detectives explain the second-degree murder charge Foster faces is not that common.
“Murder in the second-degree is essentially when a child dies while they’re being neglected, during the commission of cruelty to children in the second-degree, so that’s why murder in the second degree applies here,” said Det. Wolfe.
According to Hinesville Police Department, Foster was not at the residence when the two girls went missing and that it is not Foster’s home.
"It just became who is responsible for these children and why were the children not supervised. How were they missing for such a period of time that allowed them to get into the yard and into a vehicle and then eventually pass from a heat stroke,” Hinesville Police Department Det. Bryan Wolfe said.
The Georgia division of family and children services gave us a statement saying, “The Division is working closely with law enforcement to investigate this tragedy and to prevent future similar tragedies.” They would not answer many of our questions due to the ongoing criminal case.
Det. Wolfe told WTOC the brothers of the twins were released back into the custody of the biological parents after being deemed fit by the state.
Foster will now have to request a bond from a superior court judge. She’ll be in the Liberty County Jail at least until that happens.