published Monday, July 16th, 2012

Allegations of drug use by dead boys' mom probed

Leland Bates, 5, and River Bates, 3
Leland Bates, 5, and River Bates, 3
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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The Bradley County Sheriff's Office is investigating allegations of drug use at the home of Tasha Moses, the mother of the two boys who died of hyperthermia at the end of June.

Detectives were joined by the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force, which brought a truck to the house Friday to help with a two- to three-hour search of the property, Bradley County Sheriff's spokesman Bob Gault said.

The boys' father, Jonathan Bates, told the Times Free Press last week he and Moses have struggled with drug use over the years, and that he recently has been in rehab.

"I just want the truth to come out," he said last week. "There needs to be some answers. I want people to just tell the detectives the truth. I just can't take this."

Gault is not releasing the results of the search, and he said it is just one part of the ongoing investigation into River and Leland Bates' deaths. The brothers, ages 3 and 5, died after their core temperatures reached at least 105 degrees. Moses told officials she left the boys unattended on a Slip 'n Slide for 45 minutes on June 28.

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