UPDATE: Parents charged with murder after 2-year-old child found dead in car
UPDATE: A Tennessee couple whose 2-year-old son died after being left in a vehicle overnight have been arrested on murder charges.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Sevier County District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn said in a news release that a grand jury returned presentments against Jade Elizabeth Phillips and Anthony Dyllan Phillips. They were arrested Monday and are charged with first-degree murder committed in perpetration of aggravated child neglect, first-degree murder committed in perpetration of aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect and aggravated child abuse.
Gatlinburg police found the boy dead just before 2 p.m. on July 14 after one of the parents called 911 and reported leaving the child in the vehicle overnight.
Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com
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PREVIOUS STORY: GATLINBURG (WBIR) - A 2-year-old child has died after being left in a vehicle overnight in Gatlinburg last week.
According to the Gatlinburg Police Department, the child was found dead on Friday around 1:57 p.m. in a car on Laurel Avenue. Police believe the child had been in the car since Thursday night.
Gatlinburg Police Chief Randall Brackins said the parents were Gatlinburg residents who were renting a house on that street.
"They were upset," Brackins said. "They were just, you know, in shock, didn't know what to do."
No charges have been filed, but the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Gatlinburg Police Department have launched an investigation into the incident.
"They're going back now, trying to investigate to see what was happening and why it occurred and trying to make a determination as to why the child was left in the car," Brackins added.
The investigation will continue and pending charges will be determined through investigative efforts of the TBI and GPD as well as the Sevier County District Attorney's Office.
Once the police investigation is complete, Sevier County District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn said they will proceed accordingly. He added he is waiting for lab results in the case.
Criminal attorney Don Bosch said the parents of the two-year-old will likely be charged.
"A 2-year-old child was left locked in a vehicle for at least 12 and maybe as much as 24 hours, I think it would be easy for the state to charge at least aggravated child neglect if not aggravated child abuse as well," Bosch, an Inside Tennessee panelist, explained.