Funerals held for Smyrna children found dead - WKRN News 2

Funerals held for Smyrna children found dead

Posted: Updated: Aug 7, 2012 05:57 PM
The children's mother, Samantha Harper, 25, faces two counts of especially aggravated child abuse. The children's mother, Samantha Harper, 25, faces two counts of especially aggravated child abuse.
SMYRNA, Tenn. -

Funerals were held Tuesday for the two Smyrna children who died last week after being found mid-afternoon in a hot car.

Relatives of three-year-old Daniel Marise and two-year-old Savanna Marise requested information about the services remain private.

The children's mother, Samantha Harper, will make her initial court appearance Thursday when she will be arraigned on the charges of especially aggravated child abuse.

At the arraignment, a date will be set for a preliminary hearing where investigators will present testimony and evidence in their case against Harper.

Harper discovered her children in the car in the driveway of the family's home located at 9584 Old Nashville Highway in Smyrna, about 25 miles southeast of Nashville.

Harper told police she put the children in her car and went back into her home and fell asleep.

She called 911 from a neighbor's home after discovering the kids.

On the 911 tape, the young mother frantically tells the dispatcher she thinks her children are dead.

Harper: My kids got outside and they got in my car, I think they are both dead now.
Dispatcher: ... Okay, your kids?
Harper: A two and a three-year-old
Dispatcher: You're their mother?
Harper: Yes I'm their mother. (crying)
Dispatcher: How long have they been in the car?
Harper: I don't know.  
Dispatcher: Do you think they passed away? Do you think they are? Do you want to start CPR? Harper: They passed away.

A bewildered, elderly neighbor was also on the phone for several minutes with dispatchers after Harper ran back across the street, then returned.  

Neighbor: I live across the road from her. She's running back over there now.

In police reports, investigators said Harper told them she put the kids in the car, went inside the home and fell asleep.

She talks about a time frame in the 911 tape to one of the dispatchers.

Dispatcher: When's the last time you've seen them?
Harper: I want to say it was between 11 [a.m.] and 12 [p.m.]  
Dispatcher: 11 and 12 today?
Harper: Yes.  
Dispatcher: Are you sure about that?  
Harper: What time is it now?  

After momentarily misspeaking on the time, the dispatcher told Harper it's 3:30 p.m.

The time turned out to be way too late for her children.

The medical examiner has not released the exact cause of the children's deaths.

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