DCS releases new documents on case of kids who died in hot car - WSMV Channel 4

DCS releases new documents on case of kids who died in hot car

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The Department of Children's Services is defending the actions of its investigators after the deaths of two young children.

The children's mother, Samantha Harper, was arrested back in August for leaving her children, ages 2 and 3, inside a hot car in Smyrna.

The Channel 4 I-Team first revealed DCS had investigated the family in the past.

Now, new documents show DCS investigated two prior complaints about the children but closed the case, saying no services were needed.

The reports indicate Harper kept changing her story about what happened, and her own mother told investigators the car her grandchildren died in wasn't working.

Newly released DCS documents say the police attempted to start the car, and it wouldn't start.

Channel 4 News asked DCS why it hadn't taken action earlier when DCS caseworkers were called to see about this family in 2010 and in 2011.

A DCS spokesman says when they checked, the house was clean.

"Everything the family seemed to need, at the time, they had. And we offered services, again, 'Is there anything we can help you with? Is there anything you need to help you raise your kids?' And they declined, and so we closed that referral, too," said DCS spokesman Rob Johnson.

DCS says it never investigated the family at the house where they were all living when the children died. During the previous investigations, they were staying elsewhere.

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