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Two toddlers die in Texas after mom left them in hot car to teach ‘a lesson,’ police say

On the day her two children were found dead, Cynthia Marie Randolph recounted for investigators a mother’s nightmare: She had been folding laundry and watching television while her young daughter and son, ages 2 and 16 months, played in an enclosed sun room on the back porch.

Randolph, 24, went to check on her children after about a half-hour – but they were “gone,” she told police. She said that after a half-hour of searching, she finally spotted their bodies, unresponsive, inside her 2010 Honda Crosstour parked in her driveway.

It was May 26, a day when the high temperature outside Randolph’s home in Weatherford, Texas, reached 96 degrees, according to police records.

Medics pronounced both children dead at the scene, authorities said.

According to the Parker County Sheriff’s Office, when asked how long the children might have been exposed to the high temperatures inside the car, Randolph responded immediately: “No more than an hour.”

Less than a month after the tragedy, Randolph has been arrested after her original explanation for her children’s deaths unraveled. Through multiple interviews with investigators over the past month, Randolph “created several variations of the events” of May 26, police said.

In a final interview with investigators Friday, Randolph described an entirely different timeline for what happened that day – one that began much earlier in the afternoon than she had previously admitted.

At about 12:15 p.m., Randolph said she had found her children playing inside her car and ordered them to come out, police said.

“Stop your s-t,” Randolph said she told her 2-year-old daughter, according to police.

“When they refused to exit, Randolph told police she shut the car door to teach Juliet a lesson, thinking she could get herself and her brother out of the car when ready,” a probable cause affidavit for the incident stated. “The defendant went inside the house, smoked marijuana and took a nap. The defendant said she was asleep for two or three hours.”

It was only after her nap that Randolph found her children unresponsive inside the Honda Crosstour, police said. Randolph further told investigators that she broke the car window so that it would look like an accident, police said.

Randolph was charged Friday with two first-degree felony counts of injury to a child causing serious bodily injury. She is being held at the Parker County Jail on a $200,000 bond, records show. A sheriff’s spokeswoman did not immediately return a call Saturday afternoon, and jail records do not list an attorney for Randolph.

Over the past two decades, more than 700 children have died of heatstroke while in hot cars, said Jan Null, a meteorologist who compiles and keeps track of the data on noheatstroke.org.

“Every one of these can be prevented,” Null told The Washington Post last year.

Null said more than half of the incidents occurred because a child had been “forgotten” by a caregiver. About 28 percent of those deaths were because a child had been playing in an unattended vehicle. About 17 percent of the deaths resulted because a child was intentionally left inside a vehicle by an adult, Null’s site states.

The National Safety Council says that unintentionally leaving a child inside a car “can happen to anyone.”

“Maybe it’s an overworked parent who forgets to drop off their child at day care, or a relative who thinks the child will be okay ‘for just a few minutes,’ ” says an NSC pamphlet on the issue.

The group advises parents to put something they will need by their child’s car seat – a purse, wallet or phone, for example – as an additional reminder to check the back.

“Remember, children overheat four times faster than adults,” says a message on the council’s website. “A child is likely to die when his body temperature reaches 107 degrees, and that can happen in minutes.”

Those who see a child alone in a car are advised to call 911 immediately or even break into the car during an emergency, the group said, noting that many states have good Samaritan laws.

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Park County 392 Fire is 50 percent contained after forcing campers to evacuate

A fire in Park County that forced the evacuation of some campers on Saturday is 50 percent contained Sunday morning, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The 392 fire is burning on 90 acres nearly 10 miles northeast of the Town of Como and campers were evacuated from County Road 39.

“The lines held overnight and fire behavior this morning is not very much compared to last night,” Greg Heule, spokesman for the Pike & San Isabel National Forests.

Firefighters continue to secure fire line and mop up hot-spots.

There is still isolated torching of heavy fuels inside the fire perimeter.

Human activity is believed to have caused the fire.

#392Fire, 90 acres and 50% contained. Updated with map and photos https://t.co/Poxv1gmZle

— USFS_Pike&San Isabel (@PSICC_NF) June 25, 2017


You don’t know the real Bradley Roby. But it’s time you did.

PARKER — You don’t know Bradley Roby.

Sure, you know he’s a cornerback for the Broncos. Probably know he was their first-round pick in the 2014 draft. You likely also know he starred at Ohio State before donning orange and blue.

But you don’t know Bradley Roby.

You know he’s that guy in the defensive backfield with the braids that swing wildly from the base of his helmet. You probably know him for The Punch in the Broncos’ 2015 divisional playoff victory, when he knocked the ball from the hands of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Toussaint. Heck, you might even know he was once an all-state receiver out of Georgia and ran a blistering 4.39-second 40 at the NFL scouting combine.

But, really, you don’t know Bradley Roby.

Cast among the Denver secondary’s “misfits,” as safety T.J. Ward calls them, of players passed over, pushed aside or mislabeled, Roby stands in a gray area, between the widely recognized veterans of the “No-Fly Zone” and the up-and-comers of the “Baby No Fly.”

Over the last three years, Roby, 25, has morphed into a do-it-all defensive back and vital piece of the Broncos’ two-time-leading pass defense. But because he’s not among the secondary’s leading quartet, he’s often labeled the could be star or the would be starter elsewhere.

They’re labels he both cherishes and defies, ones he’s grateful to have but is driven to shed.

“I kind of like people giving me no credit of being in ‘No Fly,’ ” he says. “Because I’m like, ‘Well, you see me out here making plays, so you have to mention my name.’

“Just because you’re not a starter doesn’t mean you can’t be a top player in this league.”

It’s time you knew Bradley Roby.


“The plays you don’t make will eat you alive.”

The Bradley Roby Game entered the books on Sept. 17, 2015 in Kansas City.

It was a nailbiter with an ending that goes something like this: Game tied at 24 with 36 seconds left. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith hands the ball to tailback Jamaal Charles for a run up the middle on first-and-10. Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall slaps the ball from Charles’ hands and Roby, out of nowhere, flies in to scoop up the loose ball and runs it back 21 yards for a touchdown.

Ball game.

“Pressure definitely brings the best out of me. I love that,” Roby says. “A lot of people kind of shy away from that. But I don’t watch basketball games until the fourth quarter. I really don’t watch first halves because it’s pointless.”

Those grand finales, as Roby sees them, can end one of two ways: You either play hero, as he did that night in Kansas City. Or you mess up. You mess up when you need to not mess up the most, but you learn from that mess-up because you’ll always remember that awful feeling in the pit of your stomach for days, weeks, months.

Just as Roby did 14 months later in another meeting with Kansas City.

The play that lives in Roby’s head on a tortuous loop is the fourth-and-10 against the Chiefs in the waning seconds of their Week 12 game last season. A stop there, and the Broncos’ win would have likely been sealed. Instead, rookie receiver Tyreek Hill gained 11 yards against Roby.

“I’ll never forget that play for the rest of my life,” Roby says. “Because it was like just a small — just line up where you’re supposed to. Don’t be looking around. Just get lined up.”

And the ending to that one goes something like this: Hill scores on the next play, Broncos lose the game in overtime and, in the ensuing weeks, their playoff hopes too.

It was a little thing that turned into a big thing and for a self-described perfectionist like Roby, it’s always been about the little things.

“Plays I make, I expect to make those,” he says. “Yeah, it’s cool to watch yourself on ‘SportsCenter’ and top 10 and this and that. But the plays you don’t make will eat you alive, because you’re like, ‘Dang, I could have had three picks to the house last year, not two.’ Who does that? Who gets three interceptions and takes them all to the house — as a guy that doesn’t even start? And I had opportunities for that.”

A week after that Kansas City loss, Roby picked off Blake Bortles in Jacksonville and ran 51 yards for a touchdown, his second pick-six of the season.

“I could have had another pick-six (touchdown) that game if I had hustled a little harder,” he says. “Who gets two pick-sixes in one game and doesn’t start? Thinking about the possibilities of what could have been is what really eats me alive.”


“On most teams, he would be a starter.”

Just imagine for a second being the new guy on a defense with DeMarcus Ware on one side and Von Miller on the other, Malik Jackson up front, Brandon Marshall and Danny Trevathan in the middle, and Chris Harris, Aqib Talib and Ward in the back.

Just imagine.

“‘We picked you first round, we expect you to play right now. So you have no leeway,’” is what Roby imagined. “I’m a guy that wants to be perfect, so it made the mistakes so much harder on me because I really felt bad. Like, ‘I’m the only rookie out here messing up. I’m a young dude. I can’t do that. They expect me to do that and I don’t want to be like that.’”

Just imagine.

“Immediately I was just like, ‘I’m so blessed to be here,’ ” he says. “I could be — no disrespect to any other team — but on a worse team. I knew right away that it was a situation that was meant for me and I needed to take advantage of it.”

It’s true. He could be. Before a predraft OVI charge (he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge) Roby was on the verge of playing for the Bengals, with Vance Joseph as his defensive backs coach. Cincinnati had the 24th pick in the draft that year, and when the Bengals hosted Roby on a predraft visit, they told him he was their guy. “Don’t worry about it,” Roby recalls them saying. “We’re going to pick you.”

But that was before.

Three years later, Joseph is the top guy on a staff stacked with DB specialists who collectively have nearly 80 years experience as an NFL player or coach of defensive backs.

Specialists who stay on Roby about those little things.

“Roby is a young corner that could be really, really special. He’s playing behind two Pro Bowl guys,” Joseph says. “From time to time, he has to push himself to continue to become what they are. That’s tough because on most teams, he would be a starter.”

Playing behind two first-team all-pro corners in Harris and Talib, and alongside two Pro Bowl safeties in Ward and Darian Stewart has built an education for Roby few can replicate.

“They’re kind of like my big brothers,” he says. “… It might not be the best if I don’t get to start and this and that, but I just think being with those guys and learning from them is invaluable. I’ll definitely carry their work ethic and everything I’ve learned from them throughout my whole career.”

But Roby, the “would be” starter, is not one in Denver and doesn’t always get the recognition that comes with being one.

So he’s essentially tried to be everything else — outside corner, nickel, safety — requiring he know it all and know it all well and be able to switch on the fly, often in subsequent plays. The versatility is a badge of honor, and the path toward becoming the all-encompassing defensive back a personal challenge.

He says he wants to change the game. He wants three cornerbacks on the Pro Bowl ballot. He wants the Broncos’ three-corner blueprint to be the norm. And he wants to be seen as one of league’s finest corners — no, defensive backs.

“Not just on my team. Just, period,’” he says. “Because it’s like I have all this potential. I’m tired of hearing that. I’m ready to show it. I’m ready to show everything I can bring to the field. … I just want to prove I’m one of the best.”


“Something that needs to be cherished more …”

Growing up, Roby idolized Jerry Rice in part because, for the longest time, Roby was a speedy receiver himself, with dreams of being making it big like Rice and scoring all those touchdowns like Rice. Maybe that’s why he has an affinity for scoring as a defensive back.

There was even a time when Rice showed up at Roby’s home, but Roby wasn’t there. Long story, but Roby never got to meet or talk to his idol, though he did score a signed jersey and football that he kept in his bedroom.

Roby’s list of idols has grown over the years, and many follow some noticeable themes. Floyd Mayweather is one of them, and if you ask Roby now, he will tell you hands down, “Money” will collect a lot of it Aug. 26. But Roby likes Conor McGregor too, because he likes his story — the plumber turned mixed martial arts star who will soon fight Mayweather for $100 million.

“I like his mind-set toward just competing, toward fighting, toward building a life for himself,” Roby says. “He’s built this whole life for himself by sheer belief.”

It’s a belief built on expectation, Roby explains. “An expectation of greatness” that Roby holds for himself because he was taught to do so at a young age — much like two of his other idols, Kanye West and the late rapper Tupac. They, too, created success on belief. But with help.

“The mother is what the kid learns everything from. I know this because if you look at all the most successful guys, and even guys like Kanye West and, recently I saw the Tupac movie, but you look at Tupac — they had two strong moms that taught them everything,” Roby says. “It wasn’t perfect, but they instilled a lot of hard work and discipline and expected great things from them. Their sons became great men. You look at anybody who is super successful or a great man, I think he had a great mom that raised him and taught him how to be that way.”

It’s what Roby’s mother, Betty, did for him.

“Just me and her,” he says. “She’s definitely the reason I’m here today.”

Betty, a single mother, is the biggest player in Roby’s past and a key piece of his future. Along with his lofty on-field goals is one to help single mothers.

“That’s something that needs to be cherished more, something that needs to be celebrated more and something that needs to be talked about more because that is the key in this society that kind of values the male dominance a little more,” he says. “I think it’s always good to cherish the woman.”

In April, the Broncos exercised Roby’s fifth-year contract option, keeping him in the fold until 2019. Of course, he hopes it won’t end there.

Last weekend, Roby, along with his beloved pit bull Nino, moved into their new house here he hopes they can call home for the long term. Roby started his career here in Colorado. He got a ring here. He wants to get more rings here.

As for everything in between?

“My time is coming,” he says. “I’m not really worried about that. I just want them to know that I’m a baller and when I get on that field I’m going to ball.

“As long as you know that, I’m good with that.”

PARKER, CO - JUNE 20: (Right) Denver Broncos defensive back Bradley Roby poses for a portrait at his home on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. (Left) Roby stands with his dog Nino in their living room. (Photo By AAron Ontiveroz/ The Denver Post)
Roby, with his dog Nino (left), recently moved in his new house in Colorado, which he hopes to call home for the long term.
bradley_roby_08x.jpg (image/jpeg, 11.88 MB)

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Information last updated on 2017-06-25

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