MEDFORD, N.Y. – A Long Island mother has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the tragic deaths of her 2-year-old twin daughters, who were found suffocated in their car seats near a county park in June 2019.
Tenia Campbell, 28, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder charges in connection to the deaths of her young daughters, Jaida and Jasmine, in December. Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney announced on Monday that Campbell was sentenced to 20 years to life behind bars.
“Although the 20-year sentence here resolves this sad case, it will not bring back these girls,” said DA Tierney. “These two young lives were cut short by the one person who was supposed to love and protect them.”
The tragic story unfolded when Campbell’s mother called police, saying that her daughter was driving around in the family’s van and had threatened to kill herself and her toddlers. Police were then led on a desperate search for them in the areas of Medford and Montauk. Less than 90 minutes later, an East Hampton police officer spotted the minivan just off Montauk Highway, west of Montauk Point, pulled over on the side of a park entrance road under a sprawling tree. Campbell was outside the van as the officer neared the vehicle, and the twin toddlers were found dead in their car seats.
Asphyxiation was listed as the cause of death for the girls, and Campbell later admitted to smothering them.
The tragic case serves as a sobering reminder of the responsibility and duty of a mother to love and protect her children. It also sheds light on the mental health challenges that many individuals, particularly mothers, may face, and the need for better support and resources for those struggling with such issues.
The sentencing of Campbell to two decades in prison reflects the gravity of the crime and the loss of innocent lives, while also calling attention to the importance of mental health awareness and intervention in cases like these. These young lives, though tragically lost, will not be forgotten, and their story serves as a reminder of the vulnerability of children and the responsibility of adults to ensure their safety and well-being.