published Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Cleveland boys who died from hyperthermia had body temperatures of 109, 103 degrees

The core body temperature of a 3-year-old boy who died in June from hyperthermia was 109 degrees, according to the Bradley County Medical Examiner.

River Bates and his 5-year-old brother, Leland, died June 28.

Emergency medical personnel rushed Leland Bates to T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, where his core body temperature was recorded at 103. He was declared brain dead that night.

Dr. Jeffrey Miller, Bradley County medical examiner, said Leland’s temperature was likely much higher before he reached the hospital.

Both boys were well-hydrated and otherwise in good health, said Dr. Miller, who discussed autopsies of the brothers at a news conference this afternoon.

The manner of death for both boys is listed as homicide.

The boys’ mother, 26-year-old Tasha Bates, 26, has been charged with felony murder, aggravated child abuse and endangerment as well as methamphetamine-related offenses. Her next court date is Nov. 19.

River and Leland Bates were found unconscious on June 28. Their mother has maintained that she had left the boys outside unattended for 45 minutes on a Slip’n Slide water toy and later found both lying on the ground, unmoving.

The boys’ core high body temperatures led investigators to believe the boys were trapped in an enclosed space, such as a car.

Read more in tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

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