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Death of two Hinesville toddlers under investigation
Children found in auto
Hinesville Police Department Detective Capt. Tracey Howard speaks on the phone Sunday following the discovery of twin girls dead in the back seat of a car parked at a home in the Griffin Park subdivision of Hinesville. - photo by LEWIS LEVINE/Coastal Courier

The deaths of two toddlers found in a vehicle in Hinesville on Sunday, Sept. 29, has spurred investigations by the Hinesville Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

At approximately 1:42 p.m., a 911 call was received indicating two children had been missing and were found unresponsive in a vehicle located in the back yard of a home on the 200 block of Augusta Way in the Griffin Park neighborhood. First responders arrived on scene shortly afterward and found two unresponsive toddlers inside the parked vehicle.

 The first responders determined that the two 3-year-old children were deceased, and HPD immediately began a death investigation. A perimeter was established and all individuals present at the home were removed.

“It appears that they were siblings,” Hinesville Police Capt. Tracey Howard said. “It appears they are two twin sisters.”

According to a report from WTOC television station, police have identified the two girls as Raelynn Keys and Payton Keys.

A caregiver inside the home was the source of the 911 call, Howard said.

“This is not actually the home of the caregiver or the children. This is some place that they come to from time to time and do stay for periods of time,” he said.

“They were here visiting when this unfortunate tragedy took place.”

A search warrant for the home was obtained and GBI was contacted to assist with the investigation. A crime scene unit processed the scene with the assistance from GBI and the bodies of the children were removed from the scene and taken to the crime lab. 

Autopsies were performed Monday, Sept. 30, and when the results will be made available is unclear.

Howard said investigators are trying to determine how they died and how they ended up in the vehicle.

The temperature in Hinesville was 92 degrees around the time the children were discovered. Capt. Howard says the outside temperature is also a factor they are not ruling out.


“We’re planning to conduct a test with similar weather, with similar exposure, but typically, temperatures over 80 degrees exceed over 130. It is substantially hot. It can prove deadly.”

Anyone with any information regarding the case should contact the Hinesville Police Department Detectives Unit at (912) 368-8215. Questions should be directed to Whitney Morris-Reed, Public Relations Manager, (912) 408-3569 or 


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