Authorities found a 2-year-old toddler dead inside a vehicle in Tennessee on Thursday, parked in the driveway of a home that reportedly belongs to Westmoreland mayor, Jerry Kirkland.
Knoxville News-Sentinel reports that the toddler was found in a vehicle parked in the driveway of 416 Laurel Avenue, in Gatlinburg. According to Sevier County Property Assessor’s Office, Kirkland owns the home, although he lists Westmoreland as his mailing address.
Authorities received a call to the home at 1:57 p.m. on Friday. The caller stated that a child was left inside a car overnight. When police arrived, the toddler was already deceased. Officers still haven’t released details on the child’s name, gender, or exactly how long the toddler was stuck inside the vehicle. It’s also unclear if anyone has been arrested. However, according to friends and family, the child was reportedly Westmoreland’s grandson.
The home where police found a toddler dead after being left in a vehicle overnight belongs to Mayor Jerry Kirkman. https://t.co/ccdsnhsoL4
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 19, 2017
“It’s sad… You think about what maybe you could have done if you had driven by that way,’ Chris Box, a man working on nearby home, said. “It’s really disheartening. I have a 7-month-old son and I don’t know how you forget a child in the car. I just can’t fathom it.”
Neighbors said toys were strewn across the yard, indicating that a young child likely lived in the home.
The National Weather Service reported that the temperatures on Thursday in Gatlinburg reach a high of around 89 degrees, and on Friday, an estimated high of around 88 degrees. Temperatures while inside a locked vehicle, however, can reach over 100 degrees.
Kirkland hasn’t yet commented on the incident.
The story is still developing. Check back with Crime Online as additional information becomes available.
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