published Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Second Bradley County boy dies

851 Armstrong Road Cleveland, TN, where investigation carried out into death of three-year-old child.
851 Armstrong Road Cleveland, TN, where investigation carried out into death of three-year-old child.
Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- A 5-year-old Bradley County boy who was airlifted Thursday to Children's Hospital at Erlanger died there Friday, authorities said.

Bradley County Sheriff's Office spokesman Bob Gault said Leland Bates died Friday afternoon.

He said authorities are awaiting results of an autopsy of Leland's 3-year-old brother, River Bates, who died in an ambulance Thursday en route to SkyRidge Medical Center in Cleveland. The autopsy was scheduled for Friday, but Gault could not confirm the examination's status late in the day.

Investigators with the sheriff's criminal investigations division are trying to find out what happened to the children, he said. The incident originally was described as a near-drowning, but authorities later said they didn't know exactly what happened.

"We're getting mixed reports where this took place or what the circumstances were," Bradley County EMS spokesman Stan Clark said Thursday afternoon.

After the sheriff's office opened an investigation, emergency medical personnel referred all questions to Gault.

The children's mother, Tasha Moses, called 911 shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday to report a possible drowning involving her sons, according to officials. Moses placed the call 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," Gault said in a Friday morning news release.

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