Two children in Texas died after their mother locked them in a hot car for several hours as a punishment.
Cynthia Marie Randolph, 24, told investigators she was hoping to teach her 2-year-old daughter and 16-month-old son a lesson, reports The Associated Press.
Randolph is now being held in jail for causing serious bodily injury to her children, 1-year old Cavanaugh Ramirez and 2-year old Juliet Ramirez, both of whom died.
Initially, the mother told authorities the kids had locked themselves in the car while playing outside their house as she was folding laundry on May 26.
Her account of what happened was constantly changing, leading to holes in her story, which eventually led to the truth.
Randolph eventually admitted after Juliet refused to leave the car, she left her there to teach her a lesson. Assuming the children knew how to get out by themselves, she smoked some marijuana and napped for two to three hours.
When she returned to the car, they were unresponsive. She broke the car window to make it appear they had locked themselves in.
They died 30 minutes after authorities received a call about the kids.
The incident disturbed many on social media, causing much debate.
Some blamed the marijuana.
“So she smoked a joint and fell asleep for some two to three hours?” commented one individual on CBS News’ website. “And we’re scurrying to legalize pot across the County including here in California.”
Others argued the drug was not responsible.
“Horrible accident,” replied another. “Yep, addicts make stupid decisions as do sober people .. we’ve all done something horrific. Condolences to all these gorgeous baby’s loved ones!”
Many were angry with the mother, refusing to believe it was an accident.
“I doubt there are any ‘accidents ‘ that involve kids dying in hot cars,” said one.
“I think there are a few,” replied a second. “Like that school principal who left her infant when her schedule changed, but I am also starting to think it’s a way for some parents to get rid of their children when they no longer think being a parent is fun and the reality of the 24/7/365-ness of having children sets in.”
Some wondered why she was only being charged for causing bodily injury to a child.
“Why is she not being charged with murder or at the very least manslaughter,” wrote one person. “One way or the other this cruel stupid woman deliberately killed her children.”