Australia: Mother of toddlers who died in hot car committed to stand trial for murder

·2 min read
An aerial view of the yard where toddlers Darcey-Helen and Chloe-Ann were found dead in their mother’s car amid scorching November temperatures (Screengrab from Nine News)
An aerial view of the yard where toddlers Darcey-Helen and Chloe-Ann were found dead in their mother’s car amid scorching November temperatures (Screengrab from Nine News)

The Australian mother of toddlers who died in a car last November as temperatures soared has been committed to stand trial for their murders.

Keri-Ann Conley was charged with two counts of murder under a new definition in Queensland, which now including reckless indifference to human life.

Two-year-old Darcey-Helen and one-year-old Chloe-Ann died from exposure to extreme heat. They were found dead in a black Mazda that was parked in front of the family home in Logan, south of Brisbane in November 2019.

Ms Conley allegedly put her two daughters in her car around 6.30am as she left a friend’s house on the day of the tragedy.

When she arrived home, police allege that Ms Conley left the girls in the car before going into her house and falling asleep.

Police believe the girls remained in the car until after 1pm, when temperatures had reached 31C.

Paramedics were called just before 1.30pm, at which point Ms Conley attempted to revive her daughters in a cold bath, but it was to no avail. Darcey-Helen and Chloe-Ann were declared dead at the scene.

The court heard from Peter Jackson, Darcey-Helen’s father, on Tuesday. He said that both girls had been scheduled to visit him the day they died

He told the court how he was unable to reach Ms Conley that morning, despite having called her 18 times and sending numerous text messages.

Around 1.30pm Ms Conley returned his call, shortly after the paramedics had been called.

The court also heard from police prosecutor Tim Wise, who said that more than 140 statements had been collected as evidence.

Ms Conley was ordered to stand trial by magistrate Michael O’Driscoll, but a trial date is yet to be set.

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