A foster mom in Georgia is facing criminal charges after two children were found unresponsive in the back of a vehicle and later died, WSAV-TV reports.
Prosecutors allege that Claudette Foster was negligent while she was caring for the 3-year-old twins in Hinesville, Georgia, about 45 miles southwest of Savannah. Police were called to Foster’s fiancée’s house in September on a day when the girls, Raelynn and Payton Keyes, had been missing for hours.
“It was determined that there was a lack of supervision for the children,” Hinesville Police Detective Bryan Wolfe told WSAV-TV. “It allowed them to enter the vehicle and pass away.”
Skye Keyes, the girls’ biological mother, also alleges that Foster has previously abused her daughters, including slapping them in the face, punching them and thumping their heads.
Keyes said she reported the allegations to the Georgia Department of Family and Children’s Services days before the girls’ deaths. When the television station reached out to the agency for comment, it provided the following response.
“It is the Division’s practice not to comment on criminal investigations. The Division is working closely with law enforcement to investigate this tragedy and to prevent future similar tragedies. We continue to keep all those whose lives have been touched by Payton and Raelynn Keyes in our thoughts and prayers.”
Family members of the girls are collecting donations to cover funeral expenses.
Foster faces two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of child cruelty.
On October 15, Liberty County Magistrate Judge Angela Roberts denied Foster bond amid concerns that she may be a flight risk. Foster is not a U.S. citizen and could “leave the area for some reason or [her] visa may not be reinstated in March,” Roberts said.
More than 900 children have died in hot cars in the United States since 1990, at least 52 this year, according to KidsAndCars.org.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Here is a related episode.
[Feature image: Peyton and Raelynn Keyes/Skye Keyes Facebook]