A father has been released from jail following his arrest after his two young children were found dead in his hot truck. The father, Dustin Lee Dennis, was released after surveillance video showed that the children had climbed into the truck on their own.
Dennis will now no longer for charges for his children’s deaths. According to People, the children, Tegan and Ryan, snuck out of the house when their father was taking a nap. Temperatures in Oklahoma reached 90-degrees that fateful June 13th day.
Tegan was just four years old and Ryan was only three.
As Fox 23 reported, Dennis told authorities that after he took his kids to a local QuikTrip, he took a nap that lasted about four to five hours. It was when he woke up that he discovered his children missing and eventually found them in his truck. It’s believed the children had accidentally locked themselves inside the truck after their neighbor’s security cameras showed them getting inside.
Upon investigators discovering the security footage, the District Attorney’s Office issued a statement, KJRH reports. “Today investigators with the Tulsa Police Department brought to the attention of the District Attorney’s Office additional information they were able to develop in the matter of the deaths of Tegan and Ryan Dennis,” the press release began.
“Detectives within the Child Crisis Unit were concerned about conflicting information as it related to the initially reported facts. Video surveillance footage from a neighbor’s home confirmed that the children managed to get into the truck and tragically never got out. Based upon that newly discovered evidence the detectives immediately reported it to our office. We then presented that information to the judge who initially set bond. Mr. Dennis was authorized for release on a personal recognizance bond.”
According to People, Tegan and Ryan were found on the floorboards of his vehicle. Before calling 911, the father carried both of his children out of the truck and into their living room.
Dennis’ sister-in-law, Chantiel Keyes, has created a GoFundMe account to help the parents pay for Tegan and Ryan’s funerals. “My niece Tegan and nephew Ryan were tragically killed when their father left them unattended while he slept and they climbed into his truck and was unable to get back out during his visitation weekend,” Keyes wrote. “There is no way to express our grief or what my sister is going through. No one is ever expecting to go through this. I am just trying to raise money to help her with funeral expenses so its one thing she does not have to deal with.”
In an update, the aunt later called her niece’s and nephew’s death a tragic accident. “We have just been informed that there is evidence showing that this was nothing but a tragic accident. I am not sure it makes it any easier because even though you want to place blame there is no one to blame.”
And although the father has been released, the investigation remains ongoing.
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