Toddler dies after couple leaves twins home alone for 8 hours, police say

A couple was arrested after officers say they left two toddlers home alone for eight hours and one of the children died. (Source: WCJB)
Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 4:08 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB/Gray News) - Florida police say a couple has been arrested after leaving their twin toddlers home alone for several hours, resulting in one of the children dying.

According to the Gainesville Police Department, officers were called to a home on Sept. 1 for reports of a toddler not breathing.

The 3-year-old girl was taken to the hospital but later died.

Her mother, 22-year-old Donrea McLaughlin, claimed that she took a nap and was woken up by her boyfriend Sean Lee II, 26, because the child was not breathing.

Investigators said they found that McLaughlin and Lee went to work that day and left the 3-year-old and her twin sibling alone for eight hours.

The children were not checked on during that time, according to officers. The surviving child was also taken to the hospital for treatment.

Police said their investigation uncovered a history of prolonged abuse and neglect, which contributed to the child’s death and injuries to her twin.

McLaughlin and Lee ended up leaving the Gainesville area and traveled to Atlanta. A warrant was issued for their arrest.

This week, a team of officers, deputies, and U.S. Marshals coordinated the couple’s arrest.

McLaughlin and Lee are expected to be brought back to Florida to face charges of murder, aggravated child abuse and child neglect.

Authorities said the couple is being held on a $4.5 million bond.