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BALTIMORE COUNTY, Maryland (WDTN) – Two children from Ohio were found dead in the trunk of their aunt’s car in Maryland.

According to a release from Baltimore County, on July 28 just after 11 p.m., officers stopped a car and found the bodies of two children, identified as 7-year-old Joshlyn Johnson and 5-year-old Larry O’Neil.

Police said the driver and aunt of the children, 33-year-old Nicole M. Johnson, was arrested and charged.

Johnson is charged with first-degree child abuse resulting in death.

According to court documents, the children’s mother told detectives she moved to Maryland from Ohio with Joshlyn and Larry in July 2019.

The mother placed the children in Johnson’s custody.

At the time of the autopsy, Joshlyn weighed 18 pounds and Larry weighed 21 pounds.

Court records show doctors said it would have taken several months of malnourishment for the children to reach those weights.

“This truly was a devastating incident – one that not only shocked our community to its core, but significantly affected our patrol officers, forensic technicians, and detectives,” Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said. 

“I am grateful that the harrowing details of this case were thoroughly and quickly uncovered, resulting in an expeditious closure to this tragedy. I want to commend all of our Baltimore County Police Department members who worked tirelessly throughout this investigation to bring justice to these innocent, young victims.”

The cause of the children’s deaths has not been released at this time. A preliminary hearing for Johnson is set for August 27.