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NC mother charged with murder after children die in hot car, police say

Launice Battle was arrested Saturday after police say two of her children were left in a hot car and died.

RALEIGH, N.C. — A woman is in custody after police say two of her children died Saturday after they were left in a hot car.

Launice Battle, 29, was arrested on Saturday, Aug. 27, at a Raleigh hospital in connection to the death of two of her daughters, according to WRAL

Police have not released information on the circumstances surrounding the incident. The children have been identified as Amora Milbourne, 3, and Trinity Milbourne, 2, according to WRAL.

Battle is charged with two counts of murder, according to police. She appeared in court on Monday and was denied bond, according to court records. 

Credit: Raleigh Police Department
Launice Battle

"She was just a young girl, may have been experiencing depression or whatever the case may be," Keisha Harris, Battle's cousin, said. "She just made a bad decision. At the end of the day, she was a good mother to those girls."

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The Milbourne sisters are the third and fourth children to die in hot cars this year in North Carolina. In July, two children died in hot car deaths with one happening in Mebane and the other in Scotland County. 

Overall, 21 children have now died in hot cars in the United States in 2022. North Carolina has suffered the 7th-most hot car deaths since 1990.

Regulations have been issued for technology designed to prevent hot car deaths to be built in all cars beginning in November 2023.

The organization KidsAndCars.org has multiple tips for preventing hot car deaths:

  • Make sure your child is never left alone in a car:
  • Place the child’s diaper bag or item in the front passenger seat as a visual cue that the child is with you.
  • Make it a habit of opening the back door every time you park to ensure no one is left behind. To enforce this habit, place an item that you can’t start your day without in the back seat (employee badge, laptop, phone, handbag, etc.)
  • Ask your childcare provider to call you right away if your child hasn’t arrived as scheduled. 
  • Clearly announce and confirm who is getting each child out of the vehicle. Miscommunication can lead to thinking someone else removed the child.

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Note: WCNC instituted a new policy in March 2021 regarding the broadcast or posting of mugshots. 

WCNC will only air or post a mugshot if the person has been formally charged with a crime and in a few other cases. The exceptions include: If it appears the person could be a danger to themselves or others or if they are wanted by authorities; to differentiate between people with a common name; if the photos could encourage more victims to come forward. The news-editorial leadership may also decide to use a mugshot based on the severity of the crime(s) committed and/or the level of public interest in the crime and ensuing criminal proceedings.

WCNC Charlotte is choosing to show the mugshots of the suspects in this case because Launice Battle is charged with murder.

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