A North Richland Hills grandfather admitted to an investigator that he “forgot” his granddaughter and left her in a car in April for almost eight hours before she was found dead of heatstroke, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the Star-Telegram.
James Mason Hollingsworth, 59, was supposed to drop off Aurora Aryana Hollingsworth, 20 months, at her daycare at about 7:30 a.m. April 22, but he “forgot her in the car,” the elder Hollingsworth told a North Richland Hills investigator during an interview.
He surrendered to authorities Wednesday and faces a charge of injury to a child by omission.
Hollingsworth told authorities he left his granddaughter in the car and spent the day at his North Richland Hills home, washing dishes and doing laundry, according to the affidavit.
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He still didn’t realize his granddaughter was in a backseat at about 3:15 p.m. April 22 when he got back in the car and drove to a school to pick up a grandson, the affidavit states. Hollingsworth still didn’t remember until the boy told him something was wrong with her, according to the affidavit.
He immediately stopped the car, pulled Aurora out and started pouring water on her in an attempt to cool her off, North Richland Hills Detective J. P. Stieg says in the warrant. The car was in the 7500 block of Bursey Road in Richland Hills.
Hollingsworth called 911 as he tried to cool her off, according to the affidavits, and he was still working at it when paramedics arrived, the affidavit says..
“James Hollingsworth advised that he was supposed to take Aurora to day care, but he forgot,” the affidavit states.
Lex Johnston of Hurst, Hollingsworth’s attorney, has said that his office was still investigating the case, but he didn’t believe it was a criminal matter.
“It was a terrible tragedy for everyone involved,” Johnston said in an interview with the Star-Telegram shortly after Hollingsworth’s arrest.
Child Protective Services investigators are looking into the case. Aurora had three older siblings, ages 6, 8 and 11 as of April, and they are still in the home, CPS officials have said.
The family has no history with the agency, CPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales has said.
James Hollingsworth remained free on Sunday after posting $5,000 bail.
This report contains information from Star-Telegram archives.