In the midst of what he calls “the most horrific case of child endangerment he has seen in 30 years,” Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer shares his heartfelt appreciation to the community as they also deal with a more personal tragedy.

On Thursday, June 8, Amanda Hawkins was arrested on two counts of Abandoning or Endangering a Child after the sheriff said she was accused of leaving her two young daughters in her car for over 15 hours, ultimately leading to their deaths.

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“I truly appreciate all the support that everybody has given our office on this horrific incident of child endangerment that resulted in the deaths of the two little girls it has been extremely hard on all my investigators and our entire office,” Sheriff Hierholzer posted on to the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page Saturday evening.

Sheriff Hierholzer continued by sharing the news of a major car accident involving the daughter of Chief Deputy Clay Barton.

According to the post, Chief Deputy Barton’s daughter, Jenny Loza, was driving a church van full of children from a retreat between Lampasas and Burnet when she was hit head-on by a driver that crossed over the center stripe.

Though all of the children walked away with minor injuries, Sheriff Hierholzer said Jenny took the majority of the blow and was taken to a hospital in Round Rock in critical condition.

“Jenny is improving but it's going to be an extremely long road to recovery and I would just ask everybody to please keep Clay and his family in your hearts and please pray for Jenny,” Sheriff Hierholzer wrote. “I've known this girl since just about when she was born she grew up with my kids.”

He continued by thanking everyone for their continued support through this rough time.