A woman was charged with murder in the deaths of her twin 2-year-old daughters, who were found dead in their family’s car at a Long Island park, Suffolk County police announced June 27 night.
Suffolk County police a woman called 911 at around 2:30 p.m. that day, telling the operator her daughter, 24-year-old Tenia Campbell, was threatening to kill herself and her twin daughters, reported the East Hampton Star.
“Suffolk County Police Department, assisted by the New York State Police, Suffolk County Park Rangers, Southampton Town Police and the East Hampton Town Police conducted a massive, county wide search for her,” Suffolk police said in a statement, according to New York Post. The joint search stretched some 60 miles from Medford east to Montauk.
At just about 4:05 p.m., East Hampton Town police officers located the three in their van, parked at the entrance of the nature center at Montauk County Park, reported East Hampton Star. The girls, Jasmine and Jaida Campbell, both 2, were not breathing when they were found.
Officers performed CPR, trying to save Jasmine and Jaida before an ambulance arrived to transport the children to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, where they were pronounced dead. An autopsy will be conducted by the county’s medical examiner to determine the exact cause of death for each girl.
Police took Campbell into custody. An investigation is still underway and the investigators did not provide other details, including motive.
Akira Anderson, who shared the two-family house in Medford with Campbell, said the mother lived with her daughters and a 4-year-old son.
Anderson described Campbell as an “amazing mother” who was always playing with the children and teaching them at the same time. She told Newsday she was “stunned” when she learned about the death of the twins.
“She’s a great mother. Her kids were great,” she told the newspaper. “They were my kids’ friends.”
“She had a routine,” recalled Aleshia Pike, who lives across the street from the family. “She’d go to work, come home and unpacked the kids.”
“I’m never going to see them ride their jeeps together,” she told Newsday. “I’m never going to see them with their hair done nice with big bows. I’m never going to see them smile.”