Police called to toddler's home two weeks before death - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Police called to toddler's home two weeks before death

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Photo by WRCB reporter Michelle Heron. Photo by WRCB reporter Michelle Heron.
FORT OGLETHORPE, GA (WRCB) -

Neighbors in a North Georgia apartment complex where a child drowned in the pool believe the toddler's death could have been prevented. 

Police arrested the 2-year-old's mother, Elizabeth Reyna, and her boyfriend, Billy Ray Crawford Wednesday on 2nd degree murder charges. 

Police say the boy, named Noah, drowned over the weekend in the pool at Oglethorpe Ridge Apartment Complex, where he lived.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Mother, boyfriend charged with 2nd degree murder in Fort O. toddler drowning 

While investigators are still trying to figure out how Noah got inside the locked gate that surrounds the pool, Channel 3 is learning more about the toddler's past. 

Fort Oglethorpe police detective Johnny Lanham says officers have investigated calls of neglect at the home before. 

"We had prior reports of the child being outside the apartment," Lanham says. 

"If you had to estimate, how many times? One? Five?" Eyewitness News Reporter Michelle Heron asks. 

"One to five," Lanham replies. 

Lanham says the Catoosa County Division of Family and Child Services has also been previously involved with the family before. 

The most recent happening just two weeks before Noah's death. Lanham couldn't answer specific questions surrounding the case, citing it was still open. 

Neighbors tell Channel 3 Noah was found wandering around the complex two weeks ago before police were called. 

"It was cold that morning and he was wearing nothing but a diaper," neighbor Nicole Morris says. "Some neighbors from a different apartment dressed him; some people from other apartments were walking around trying to figure out where the child even lived." 

Other neighbors Channel 3 talked to say the calls date back to at least a year ago making Leeann Neill, who previously reported Noah wandering, wonder why something wasn't done sooner. 

"We kept the kid company and then eventually, he walked over to his mother and the police officer let him go," Neill adds. 

For now, the make shift  memorial outside the pool continues to grow, keeping Noah's memory alive at Oglethorpe Ridge. 

"You hear about these things, you see them all the time but when it happens right outside your door, it just hits you really, really hard," Morris says. 

Channel 3 reached out to Catoosa County DFCS, but we have not yet heard back. 

Oglethorpe Ridge will hold a vigil for Noah Thursday night at 7:30 pm. 

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