FORT WORTH — Police are investigating what caused the deaths of a woman and child found near the scene of a single-vehicle accident near Bryant Irvin Road and Altamesa Boulevard on Tuesday morning.
Amber Bentley had just dropped her children off at school when she noticed the Toyota sedan against some trees in a field about 100 yards from the road. She called 911 around 8:20 a.m.
Police responded, but did not find anyone in the car. Several hours later, a fence repairman eventually stumbled onto the woman, who a source says was naked, and the female child. It is unknown whether the child was clothed. The source tells us it appears she had been in a car seat.
"There's always deer in that field," said Bentley. "I was looking for the deer and I saw the car … It was against a tree and the hood was smashed in and the driver's side door was open. I was hollering asking if everybody was OK, hoping if somebody was in there that they could at least respond."
Wednesday, the medical examiner identified the victims as 27-year-old Lindsay Groce and Hailey Gardner, 13 months.
Groce's address was reported as an apartment on Hulen Bend Circle, about five miles from where the car was found.
Investigators believe the bodies are connected to the wrecked car, but had not determined whether the wreck contributed to their deaths, homicide Sgt. Joe Loughman said.
"There were no injuries that looked like they would cause a person's death," he said.
What caused the deaths of Groce and Gardner wasn't clear. Autopsies are scheduled for Wednesday, a source tells us.
Airbags were visibly deployed in the crash but it wasn't known if the woman and child sustained major injuries, or were even in the car at all.
"The information I've received is it is just one car," said police spokeswoman Natosha Tucker.
Homicide detectives have been added to the case, and the investigation is ongoing.
"That's heartbreaking; I have four kids," said a tearful Bentley after learning about the grim discovery. "I couldn't imagine..."