Law enforcement officials in South Carolina announced this week they won’t bring charges against a father whose 20-month-old twin boys died after he left them in the car for more than nine hours.
Leon Lott, sheriff of Richland County, told the press the father believed he dropped his sons — Bryson and Brayden McDaniel — off at a day care facility the morning of Sept. 1, according to NBC News. Instead, he left the kids in the backseat of his vehicle while he was at work.
The father discovered his horrific error around 5:30 p.m. that evening, when he drove to the day care center to pick up the young boys, who were in rear-facing carseats. Lott said the dad had been dealing with work-related stresses, describing the boys’ deaths as a “horrible, horrible, tragic accident.”
“The father was under some intense pressure at work that really had his mind somewhere else that day,” the sheriff explained during a Tuesday press conference. “And in his mind, he really believed that he had dropped the two boys off at day care. There was no doubt in his mind that he had done that.”
Lott went on to say the father, who authorities have declined to name, was facing “not your normal work activities” that “contributed” to the stress he was enduring. He added it was “heart-wrenching” to interview the grieving father, calling the overwhelming emotion that poured out of the dad as “not something that you could fake.”
Lott said investigating the incident was emotionally draining.
“It’s tragic,” he told reporters. “It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. It’s also a community’s worst nightmare, too, because so many people cared about these two young people.”
Please be in prayer for the father and family of the McDaniel boys.