Rocky Mount police said two “toddler-age” children spent hours in the cold in the backseat of a car overnight while two dead bodies were in the front seat.

Employees at Barnhill Contracting Co. on Construction Drive in Rocky Mount discovered the bodies around 6 a.m. Thursday when heading into work. Police arrived shortly after, at approximately 6:15 a.m.

Officers believe the two people, 24-year-old Destiny Wiggins and 28-year-old Devone Brown, were shot and killed inside the car right outside the business. Neither was a Barnhill employee. The bodies were found inside a Cadillac, according to an employee from the tow company that responded to the scene.

“The children’s safety was the biggest thing,” said Caleb Braswell of Coastal Wrecker towing. “It is something they will deal with the rest of their lives, especially if that was their parents.”

The two children found in the car were Wiggins’ daughters, her sister told WRAL News.

They were not physically injured, but they were transported to UNC Nash Healthcare after being exposed to cold temperatures – lows dropped into the 30s overnight.

Robert Hassell, Rocky Mount chief of police, said the family has been notified and is currently with the children. He said the children are doing well.

Hassell said this appears to be an isolated incident, not random, and he does not believe there is an ongoing threat to the public.

The Rocky Mount Criminal Investigation Division is actively investigating this is a homicide.

Rocky Mount pastor shocked by violence

Nehemiah Smith Jr., the pastor of Mount Zion church in Rocky Mount, came to check out the scene as soon as he heard the news.

“It was really a shock because that’s something that you know, we just don’t think about in this community,” he said. “We don’t want people to think that this is the norm in Rocky Mount, because it’s not.”

Smith said Rocky Mount has its issues, but this kind of violence is disheartening.

“Rocky Mount is more than the shootings and the crime and all that that kind of stuff,” Smith said. “We have some really good people here in Rocky Mount. We have really good businesses. We have a really great city council, and we’re working and striving to be better. It’s just that there are little bumps in the road like this that kind of change the whole outlook and how people look at us.”

Smith said he hopes justice is served.

“We don’t tolerate this, and we just don’t want to have this in our community,” he said.

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