BALTIMORE -- Investigators in Maryland's Baltimore County have arrested and charged a 33-year-old woman in connection to the deaths of her young niece and nephew who were found dead in a car during a traffic stop, police said Friday.
A police statement said the two dead children are siblings and Nicole Johnson was their aunt. They identified the youngsters as Joshlyn Johnson, 7, and Larry O’Neil, 5. Johnson faces multiple charges, including first degree child abuse that resulted in the deaths of children under the age of 13.
Investigators have disclosed few specifics about the case, saying it will take time to determine exactly what led to their deaths.
Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt issued a statement calling the crime “atrocious.” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr.'s statement calls it a “horrific and a heartbreaking loss of life.”
Law enforcers stopped the car just after 11 p.m. Wednesday on a major thoroughfare in the town of Essex, police said. During the stop, officers found the bodies, which were taken to the chief medical examiner’s office. A police spokeswoman said officers stopped the car due to “suspicions” about the vehicle.
“We will continue to provide every resource to support our Department’s ongoing investigation into this devastating case,” Olszewski said.
Baltimore County is a a collection of suburban communities that ring the city of Baltimore.