Father arrested in deaths of twin girls found in hot car

Asa North, NBC News images
Asa North, NBC News image
Asa North, NBC News image

CARROLLTON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia father has been arrested in the deaths of 15-month-old twin girls found in a hot car, after neighbors frantically tried to revive the toddlers with ice packs in a baby pool outside Atlanta, authorities said.

Asa North, 24, of Carrollton was arrested early Friday, local news outlets reported. North is charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of reckless conduct, Carroll County jail records show.

Someone discovered the twins unresponsive in the back seat of an SUV parked in front of a duplex Thursday night, Carrollton police said.

“The neighbors heard some screaming — I guess coming from the father — and saw him running around back with the two children,” Carrollton police Capt. Chris Dobbs told Atlanta television station CBS 46.

Arriving officers found people holding the girls in a nearby baby pool, trying to cool the children off. Some had ice packs.

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“Actually one of the neighbors got some ice packs out of the freezer and carried it out there,” Dobbs said.

The twins were taken to a hospital, where they were pronounced dead. Autopsies were expected to be done at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab, GBI spokesman Scott Dutton said Friday morning.

Police said the mother was in Atlanta at the time.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether North has an attorney who could be contacted for comment.

The six-unit, brick duplex building is on a dead-end street in a modest middle-class neighborhood in the town about 45 miles west of Atlanta.

The front of the building is covered with several TV satellite dishes, and police tape was still in place behind the duplexes Friday morning as some residents left for work and a nurse returned home from an overnight shift. Most of them declined to speak about what had happened.

The deaths of the twin girls come as prosecutors in another metro Atlanta county prepare for the murder trial of Justin Ross Harris, 35. He’s accused of intentionally leaving his toddler son to die in a hot SUV for about seven hours on June 18, 2014.

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Harris’ trial was moved to the coastal Georgia city of Brunswick after a judge agreed with defense lawyers that an impartial jury could not be found in the Atlanta area. The trial is expected to begin in September.

Nationwide, the girls who died in Carrollton are the 25th and 26th children to die this year in hot vehicles, more than double the number who had died by this point in the summer during 2015, said Janette Fennell, president and founder of KidsAndCars.org, a group that tracks such deaths each year. By this time last year, 12 children had died in hot cars, Fennell said in an email Thursday night.

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