Money Matters - Simplified

Two toddlers found dead inside a submerged car; mom arrested

According to ABC News, Orangeburg County, S.C., Sheriff Larry Williams said the dead children, both toddler boys, were recovered from the North Edisto River after the car was found near a boat landing early Monday.

The bodies of two toddlers have been recovered from a car submerged in a South Carolina river, the Orangeburg County, SC, police authorities said Monday.

The South Carolina mother of the deceased toddlers has been identified and arrested, authorities said.

Bizarre tragedy
According to ABC News, Orangeburg County, S.C., Sheriff Larry Williams said the dead children, both toddler boys, were recovered from the North Edisto River after the car was found near a boat landing early Monday.

The sheriff would not identify the children or the mother, but a supervisor at the Orangeburg County Detention Center identified the boys' mother as 29-year-old Shaquan Duley and County Coroner Samuetta Marshall said the toddlers were 18-month-old Ja'van T. Duley and 2-year-old Devean C. Duley.

Divers were brought to the scene, and they recovered the children's bodies about 45 minutes later. According to Williams, when the car was lifted from the water, the kids were found, dead, still strapped in their child restraint seats, reports ABC News.

Mom arrested
The supervisor said Monday night that the mother of dead boys Shaquan Duley was charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

The State Highway Patrol was alerted early Monday about the car which was sinking in the middle of the river, Williams said.

It’s not yet known how the vehicle, a Chrysler sedan, ended up in the water.

Divers were brought to the scene, and they recovered the children's bodies about 45 minutes later. According to Williams, when the car was lifted from the water, the kids were found, dead, still strapped in their child restraint seats, reports ABC News.

Mystery surrounds submerged car
The mother had told authorities that the children were involved in an accident, but Williams said there were no signs the car had skidded off the road and fell into the water, he believes instead the car entered the water from a boat ramp.

"Early in the investigation, the state patrol felt there was not enough indicators to substantiate that there was an automobile accident," ABC reported Williams as saying.

"My staff were out and they looked at what was there, they felt it wasn't an accident either," the sheriff said. "They are giving broad thoughts to other issues. They didn't have any evidence of a vehicle accident."

"We are looking into all possibilities as to what happened," he added.

Mom left the scene
Williams said the woman, of Hampton Street in Orangeburg, who did not have a cell phone, left the scene and walked nearly a mile before she flagged down a passing motorist to call the Highway Patrol.

"She showed some emotion, but I can't say she was overly distraught," Williams said. "Through her statements, there are some things we think are not believable."

She was arrested and is being held at the Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Detention Center on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident, although additional charges may be filed Tuesday, when investigators likely will announce preliminary findings following autopsies, the sheriff said.

Williams said the children's father, who doesn’t live with the family, has been interviewed by investigators.