Authorities in South Carolina said they won’t bring charges against a father whose 20-month-old twin sons died from heat exposure after he left them in his car for hours. The unidentified man thought he had dropped them off at daycare before heading to work.
According to PEOPLE, the bodies of little Brycen and Brayden McDaniel were found in a car that was parked outside the Sunshine House Early Learning Academy in Blythewood on September 1.
Addressing the tragic incident in a news conference on Tuesday, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said the boys’ father became absent-minded and left them in the car as he was going through “some intense pressure” at work on that day.
“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 day care. There was no doubt in his mind that he’d done that.”
The father went to the establishment later in the evening to supposedly pick the boys up, but he was told they were absent. He later found them unresponsive in his car’s backseat. And efforts he made to revive them proved futile.
Richland County Coroner Nadia Rutherford said the car’s heat index that day was 120 degrees and “it didn’t take long” for the boys to succumb. Their cause of death was ruled as hyperthermia, while the manner in which they passed was determined to be accidental.
“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 added.
Lott also spoke about their interview with the deceased boys’ father following the incident, saying it was “one of the [most] heart wrenching interviews you ever had to see.”
“The pure emotion that came out was not something you could fake,” Lott recalled, adding that the incident also affected everyone involved in the case.
“Everybody that was involved in this case has been touched by it. The Coroner’s Office, the EMS workers, the dispatchers, our deputies have all went through counseling.”