Assist. coroner: Twins' deaths heat related

Allannah Larry
Allannah Larry
Alliya Larry
Alliya Larry

By Heartland News

PORTAGEVILLE, MO (KFVS) -  The Assistant Coroner in New Madrid County says autopsy results show the cause of death for two-year-old twin girls in Portageville found in a hot car was heat related.

The girls died in a parked car outside an apartment complex in Portageville Wednesday.

Portageville Police Chief Ronnie Adams says it the girls's grandmother says they climbed into her car outside of her apartment on their own while the grandmother was napping.

The two girls had actually locked themselves inside a car before, according to a published report from the  St. Louis Post Dispatch.  It happened about two weeks ago and the family reportedly needed a locksmith to get them out.

Adams says the grandma laid down to take a nap at 1 p.m. with the twins and a three-year-old Wednesday.  When she woke to take an 18-year-old to work, she could not find the twins and that's when they were found in the car.

The entire neighborhood is feeling a loss few can put into words.

"Those are some precious little girls.  It just hit the whole neighborhood.  Never seen anything like this.  Everyone came out to support the family," said neighbor Margaret Brown.

Allannah and Alliya Larry just turned two years old last month.

According to Deasha Simmons the girls were found Wednesday afternoon around four by their mother.

"I already knew they weren't going to make it," Simmons said.

Simmons says she watched the mother as she screamed, pulling the toddlers out of the car.

"I can't imagine how much pain their mamas going through."

Sheriff Terry Stevens said crews did everything they could to save the two girls.

"Emergency personnel responded and tried to resuscitate the children to no avail," Sheriff Stevens said. "The sheriff's office and the highway patrol were called in and a criminal investigation was launched like we always do in any unnatural death."

The sheriff says he hopes an autopsy will provide answers.  An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday in Cape Girardeau.

"We don't know if they were placed in the car or if they climbed in under their own will," Stevens said Wednesday night. "That's why we're investigating."

With the extreme heat, it's hard for anyone to imagine what the children endured.

"We know the temperature inside that vehicle reached over 130 degrees," Stevens said.

Police Chief Ronnie Adams say the temperature reached 140 degrees when police placed a thermometer inside.

That fact makes the girls deaths that much harder on people in the neighborhood.

"Every time I think of it it's so upsetting because I have grandchildren of my own. Just to find out something like that would be beyond tragic,"  Margaret Brown said.

No one is in custody.

Sheriff Stevens says investigators are interviewing several people and officers are canvassing the entire Lakeview Apartment area.  They're asking if anyone saw what happened.

Police say once they are done with their investigation they will turn the case over to prosecutors.

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