ALIQUIPPA, Pa. - Police have confirmed to Channel 11 News that the parents of the two children who died in Aliquippa when a dresser fell on them earlier this month are facing charges.
According to court documents, 28-year-old David Beatty’s charges include two counts of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of endangering the welfare of children.
The documents show 28-year-old Jennifer Beatty also faces child endangerment charges because authorities said their Aliquippa home was in deplorable condition. According to the criminal complaint, police found human and animal waste on the walls, carpets and beds.
“This is the result of an extensive investigation,” said Beaver County District Attorney Anthony Berosh.
Three-year-old Ryeley Beatty and 2-year-old Brooklyn Beatty died after a dresser fell on top of them while they were playing in a bedroom inside their Irwin Street home July 4.
Police told Channel 11's Amy Marcinkiewicz that the toddlers were playing on the dresser when the accident happened. The coroner told Marcinkiewicz the toddlers suffocated and ruled the incident an accident.
According to Berosh, investigators believe David Beatty was at fault. Berosh said David Beatty waited 20 minutes before responding to the crash of the dresser.
“He left the room and the girls were in the bottom drawer of this cabinet. Ten minutes later he heard the crash, but he didn't respond to that for another 20 or so minutes,” Berosh said. “Those kids shouldn’t have been in the drawers in the first place.”
"If there’s any suspicious activity -- a loud noise -- they have to get on the proactive approach,” said Channel 11’s legal analyst Phil DiLucente.
Brooklyn died the same day as the accident, and Ryeley died two days later at Children’s Hospital. Berosh believes the girls might have lived had their father responded sooner.
Police told Channel 11 the girls often played and napped in the dresser drawers because the beds in the room were not usable.
“This dad changed his story at least three times,” said Capt. Ryan Pudik of Aliquippa police.
Medical reports show the girls had no broken bones and died from suffocating. The district attorney said quick action would have changed the situation.
As the Beattys left in police custody, David told Marcinkiewicz he didn’t hurt his girls and Jennifer said, “No comment.”