UPDATE: Death of Cleveland toddler under investigation - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Death of Cleveland toddler under investigation

Posted: Updated:

BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- The Bradley County Sheriff's Office continues the investigation after a three-year-old child died Thursday while being transported to SkyRidge Medical Center.

Sheriff's Office Spokesman Bob Gault says the boy's mother, Tasha Moses, called 911 just before three o'clock to report a possible drowning involving her children, ages 3 and 5.  The call came from her father's home at 851 Armstrong Road.

Deputies quickly discovered there was a second location involved as the children had been taken from 879 Keith Valley Road to Armstrong Road because there was no phone there.

The victim, three-year-old River Bates was transported by ambulance to SkyRidge Medical.  His brother, five-year-old Leland Bates, is being treated at Children's Hospital at Erlanger after being transported by LifeForce.

At this time the investigation is ongoing by the Criminal Investigations Division.

-- earlier story --

BRADLEY COUNTY, TN. (WRCB) -- A 3-year-old is dead after his family tells Channel 3 he was playing outside in the 105 degree heat.

A Bradley County grandfather says his grandson died of heat exhaustion. But Thursday night, investigators aren't sure. 

They're hoping an autopsy will explain what killed the boy, and sent his brother to the hospital.

"The 5-year old was taken to Erlanger, or T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital, and is still getting treatment at that location," says Sheriff's Office Spokesman Bob Gault.

Bradley County authorities say the boys' mother didn't have a working phone, so she drove to her father's house for help.  "(She) Put the kids in a vehicle and drove several miles to Armstrong Road, to her father's home," Gault says.

There she called 911, reporting her sons had drowned. 

But investigators now say no water was involved. "At the house where it happened at, there's no pond, no pool," Gault says. "Investigators right now are looking at different possibilities."

The boys' grandfather blames the heat.  He tells Channel 3 the two were playing on a slip-n-slide and overheated. He says his 3-year-old grandson's body temperature reached triple-digits.

But investigators aren't ready to close the case. Late Thursday afternoon they took the family's car, looking for any clues.  "Investigation at this point is far from over," Gault says.

The sheriff's office is not releasing any names, but tells us an autopsy should tell them more.

Meanwhile, the 5-year-old boy is in critical condition at Children's Hospital.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this developing story.

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