Bradley Co. boys die from hyperthermia; investigation ongoing
BRADLEY COUNTY TN. (WRCB) -- "They'd come up and play on the porch, won't play no more," says Debbie Burgess. Burgess is Leland and River Bates' great great grandmother.
In late June, the young boys, ages 3 and 5, were playing outside. On that day, the heat reached over 100 degrees. Family members say the children were outside for about 45 minutes, and their mother, Tasha Moses, would check in on them from time-to-time.
"Tasha went out and checked on them once she said and they seemed alright. She went back out again and she couldn't find them," says Burgess.
She did find them passed out in the yard and rushed them to her grandfather's home a couple miles away. He says her cell phone could not be used because it was dropped in water.
"But they couldn't do nothing for them. They'd done gone," says Burgess.
Preliminary autopsy results show the boys died of hyperthermia. It goes on to say they had a "markedly elevated core temperature (clinical) with coma and death."
However, the investigation into the manner of their death is ongoing.
"It has been really rough, just two of them at the same time," says Burgess. "Put them both in the same casket, holding hands."
Medical officials say young children and the elderly are more susceptible to extreme weather conditions.
For the Bates family, it's a tragic situation they hope never happens to another family. All they have left are the memories.
"River, he used to walk around all straightened up, just like a man," Burgess explains. "They're sweet little boys."
The young boys were laid to rest last week.
There is speculation they spent a period of time in their mom's car.