Mother charged after 2 kids found dead in heat - WSMV News 4

Mother charged after 2 kids found dead in heat

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Samantha Harper (Photo from Smyrna Police) Samantha Harper (Photo from Smyrna Police)

The mother of two children found dead from heat-related symptoms Thursday in Smyrna has been charged.

Samantha Harper, 25, faces two counts of especially aggravated child abuse.  She is being held on a $200,000 bond.

Police said the two children, a boy and girl aged 2 and 3 years old, were found just before 4 p.m. near a vehicle in the 9500 block of Old Nashville Highway.

Investigators believe the children were left inside the car and died from the heat.

Smyrna police Sgt. Bobby Gibson said the children were found on the ground next to the car. It's unclear whether someone may have discovered the children before police arrived and removed their bodies from the car.

High temperatures Thursday across Middle Tennessee were in the mid-90s, with heat indexes approaching 100 degrees or higher in some places.

Police said Harper's home was condemned for deplorable conditions, and additional charges against the mother could be pending.

The children's father was not home at the time of their death.

For information and safety awareness tips for families with children and automobiles, visit

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