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Preliminary autopsy results: Twin toddlers died from heat stroke
Incident was likely accidental
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

Preliminary autopsy results by the Liberty County Coroner’s Office established that the cause of death for two 3-year old twins found dead in an auto Sunday was heat stroke and likely accidental.

The toddlers were found in a vehicle in Hinesville, which 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.

According to Hinesville Police Department Detective Capt. Tracey Howard, the twin siblings, Raelynn and Payton Keyes, 3, were in private foster care contracted through the state of Georgia along with their two brothers.

Howard said the children were visiting the home of the foster parent’s fiancé. The two young girls were last seen Saturday evening when they were placed in bed for the night.

Sunday, the girls’ brothers, ages 6 and 8, told the foster parent that the girls were not in their room and could not be found.

The foster parent, who has yet to be identified, had told authorities she had seen the girls playing that morning.

When the search began earlier that morning, the foster parent could not locate the children inside the home. The search was expanded to the backyard and the surrounding area in the neighborhood. The foster parent returned to the home to resume the search and recheck the backyard. It was during this second search that the children were found unresponsive inside a vehicle parked in the home’s backyard.

The foster parent called 9-1-1.

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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