published Friday, July 20th, 2012

Two Bradley County children were dying of hyperthermia as their family called for help (with audio)

Natasha Moses Bates
Natasha Moses Bates
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Audio clip

911 call by Leland and River Bates' grandfather. WARNING: Audio may be disturbing

WARNING: Text may be disturbing

Transcript of 911 tape June 28 from Mike Kile to Bradley County 911 as he and his daughter try to revive her sons, 5-year-old Leland and 3-year-old River Bates. The boys would later die in two area hospitals.

Dispatcher: “911, location of your emergency?”

Mike Kile: [shouting] “Yes ma’am! I’m in Cleveland, Tennessee. I need an ambulance at 851 Armstrong.”

Dispatcher: “What’s the problem there?”

Kile: “My daughter’s kids ... [inaudible] ... One of them’s not breathing, she thinks he might already be dead!”

Dispatcher: “Okay, is anybody doing CPR?”

Kile: “I don’t know how, she don’t know how... [Yelling at Tasha] Have you done CPR, Tasha? Have you done CPR?”

Tasha Bates: I haven’t done any!... [screaming, inaudible]

Kile: “Both of them...she come flyin’ over here with her car...”

Dispatcher: “Listen...How old are they?”

Kile: “They’re 3 and 5!”

Dispatcher: “3 and 5?”

Kile: “Yes!”

Dispatcher: “Listen, I’m going to tell you how to do CPR, okay?”

Kile: “There’s two of them.”

Dispatcher: “Where are they right now?”

Kile: “They’re in the living room...”

Bates: [Crying in background]

Dispatcher: “They’re where? Hello?”

Kile: [call breaking up] ... “My phone won’t work inside!”

Dispatcher: “I’m sorry, I cannot hear you.”

Kile: “My phone won’t work inside...” [Inaudible]

Dispatcher: “Okay, you’ve got two kids that are not breathing?”

Kile: [Inaudible] “I can’t go inside, my phone won’t work inside.”

Dispatcher: “Okay, listen. Do you know how to do CPR, cause I will tell you how to do it, okay?”

Kile: “I can’t go inside! My phone won’t work inside!”

Dispatcher: “Can you get somebody to do CPR? I will tell you, you can yell at them.”

Kile: “She’s the only one here, she’s the only one here.”

Dispatcher: “She’s the only one here?”

[Tasha, screaming, crying in background]

Kile: “Yes.”

Dispatcher: “Can you bring them outside?”

Kile: [inaudible] I don’t know

Dispatcher: “Listen, if there’s a chance, we’ve gotta do something, okay?”

Kile: “Yes I know I’m trying...”

Dispatcher: “I know, just try. Get them outside with you.”

Kile: “She’s doing chest compressions ... She doesn’t know how fast she needs to do it...”

Dispatcher: “Okay. Does she know how to do that?”

Kile: “I don’t know...”

Dispatcher: “Okay, listen, you’re going to have to do it 30 compressions, okay?”

Kile: [yelling at Bates] “30 compressions Tasha! [Inaudible]

Dispatcher: “In between her nipples...two fingers.”

Kile: [to Bates] “Two fingers, Tasha, don’t use your whole hand.”

Dispatcher: “Okay, listen, were they in the water? What happened?”

Kile: “I don’t know” [inaudible]“...She came flying in here....I have no idea...” [Inaudible, Bates sobbing in background] “She don’t have any cell phone.”

Dispatcher: “Can she bring them out to you? Come on, we’ve got to do something.”

Kile: [Breathing heavily] Can you bring them at all, Tasha? [Tasha wailing] No? God... [inaudible yelling]

Dispatcher: “Okay, listen, I’m going to tell you. Make sure there’s nothing in their mouth, okay

Kile: [Inaudible] “I’m sorry, I’m trying to go in there...”

Dispatcher: “I know ... Don’t lose contact with me.”

Kile: Is the ambulance on its way?

Dispatcher: “Yes, honey, they’re already on their way. Okay where were they when you found them?”

Kile: “I don’t know, she lives a street over from me and she just come flying in here, and thought one of them was already dead.”

Dispatcher: “Okay, were the in a pool or pond, something?”

Kile: (to Bates) “Were they in a pool or what?”

Bates: “No!” (Crying, yelling)

Kile: “Well then where were they at??”

Tasha: [Inaudible] They were out in the front yard and they were out there playing...

Kile: “They were out there playing and what happened?”

Tasha: [Crying] I don’t know! [Inaudible]

Dispatcher: “Okay. I need to know if there’s anything inside their mouths. Check their mouths”

Kile:: “Is there anything inside their mouths, Tasha?”

Tasha: “No!”

Dispatcher: “Nothing, she’s sure? Make sure...”

Tasha: [Inaudible screaming]

Kile: “Hurry up, that ambulance has gotta hurry!”

Dispatcher: “I know, they’re on their way. Listen, we need to try CPR...”

Kile: “Oh my God, I think that little one is dead.”

Dispatcher: “Listen, we need try CPR, okay?”

Kile: “She’s with the 5-year-old now.... [Inaudible yelling, crying]

Dispatcher: “Sir, if you can talk her into bringing the kids outside and you can talk to me, we can try this, okay?”

Kile: “She’s upset...”

Dispatcher: “I know.”

Kile: [to Bates] “She said to bring them out here!”

[Inaudible crying]

Kile: “It’s too hot, she says...[Inaudible]

Dispatcher: “Just put them on the ground, bring them outside.”her

Kile: [To Bates] “Is there anything, anything poison they could have got?”

Tasha: “No, not that I know of.”

Dispatcher: “Nothing at all?”

Kile: “Not that she knows of...”

Dispatcher: “See if their tongues are swollen, did they get bit by something?”

Kile: [To Bates] See if their tongues are swollen Tasha... Oh God, that little one ... [Inaudible] Both are red, Tasha!

[Tasha screaming in background]

Kile: “He don’t have nothing, They’re turning purple, she says.”

Dispatcher: “Neither one of them? Listen, listen, tell to get down beside that child. ...Tilt their, head back, hold their nose, and give them two breaths. See if she can do that.”

[He directs Tasha]

Kile: “Alright she’s given him two breaths, now what?”

Dispatcher: “Okay now. I want you to put two fingers in between their nipples on her chest, okay. 30 compressions. 30 compressions.”

[Inaudible background]

Kile: “Something’s stuck in his throat, she says.”

Dispatcher: “She did what?”

Kile: “She said something sounds like it’s stuck in his throat, the 5-year-old.”

Dispatcher: “Can you see anything?”

[Inaudible]

Kile: “It sounds like slobber, she says...It sounds like he’s slobbering in his throat.”

Dispatcher: “Okay.”

Kile: “Oh God...[Inaudible] Y’all have got to get down here. He ain’t moving, he ain’t breathing, he ain’t nothing. He ain’t...Oh God.”

Dispatcher: “Listen, you’ve got to keep trying to do CPR.”

Kile: “Keep doing the CPR! Keep doing the CPR! 30 compressions, 30 compressions. Oh my God.”

Dispatcher: “You’ve got to keep trying, do not stop.”

[Inaudible crying in background]

Kile: “Do not stop!... Please tell them to hurry.”

Dispatcher: “Do what?”

Kile: “Armstrong Road, please tell them to hurry!”

Dispatcher: “They’re on their way. Which side of the road are you on?”

Kile: “I’m on the left hand side, in a trailer park there.”

Dispatcher: “Left side?”

Kile: “Yes, there’s a trailer park down there, you’ll see me I’m standing at the door.”

Dispatcher: “Is she still trying to do CPR?”

Kile: “She’s still trying on the 5 year old. The poor little 3-year-old ... I believe he’s gone.

Dispatcher: “Where’s he other child? Where’s he other child?”

Kile: “The other child’s lying beside her, but I believe he’s gone.”

Dispatcher: “Okay, make sure that child’s breathing, okay?”

Kile: “She said he wasn’t.”

Dispatcher: “Neither one of them is breathing?”

Kile: “The redhead is, kinda, the 5-year-old.”

Dispatcher: “Okay, is she still doing chest compressions?”

[Inaudible crying in background]

Kile: “Yeah... God, Tell them to hurry

Dispatcher: “I know, I know honey, I’m sorry. They’re on their way, okay?”

Kile: [Inaudible crying] “...Is Leland still breathing?”

Bates: [Crying] “Yeah, kind of.” [Inaudible]

Dispatcher: “Okay listen, if she knows for sure one’s not breathing, lets go over the other one, okay?”

Kile: [Inaudible]... “The other one’s breathing...”

Dispatcher: “Okay he is breathing? One’s breathing?”

Kile: “One’s breathing.”

Dispatcher: “Okay. Make sure there’s nothing in that child’s mouth that could be blocking any kind of airway.”

Kile: “Put your finger in his mouth, Tasha and see!...No, nothing’s blocking the airway.”

Dispatcher: “Okay. Lets keep trying to do CPR on the other child. Try to talk her into it. Try to talk her into it.”

[He repeats directions to Bates]

Dispatcher: “Yes. We’re going to go about two inches deep, ok. With her hand, whatever she can do. Whatever she can do. Just something.”

[Crying in background; He directs Bates]

Kile: “Oh God, I think that little one is dead.” [Weeping]

Dispatcher: “Okay, listen, listen lets try to find a pulse. If she can’t do that, try to find a pulse.”

Kile: “She’s giving him compressions, she’s giving him compressions, giving him compressions.”

Dispatcher: “Okay, lets keep doing that okay?”

Kile: “River... [Inaudible] I can’t go in there, my stupid cell phone won’t work in there now.”

Dispatcher: “Listen, if you think that you can do better than she is, lay your cell phone down on the ground and go in there and help her.”

Kile: “Ma’am, I, I [Inaudible]...I need to see the little one.”

Dispatcher: “Put in on speaker phone.”

Kile: [Inaudible] Right here...

Dispatcher: “Are they there?”

Kile: “Oh my God...his lips are blue.”

Dispatcher: “It doesn’t matter, let’s try, okay? Let’s try.”

[Sound of sirens in background]

Kile:“Come on little man...There they are!”

Dispatcher: “Are they there?”

Bates: [Screaming] “Please, please, please! Please help me! Please!”

Kile: “They’re on their way right here!”

[Bates screaming in background]

Kile: “Oh God. [to responders] There’s two of em! This one, I don’t know, God, this one is in bad shape. Oh God — Come on, River!”

[Bates screaming in background]

Responder: “There’s another one....[Inaudible] What happened to them?

Kile: “I don’t know, she come flying in here...”

Responder: “Why are they so wet, was there a pool or something?”

Kile: “There is a slip and slide...” [Inaudible]

Kile: [to Bates] “Were they playing in the water?... Were they playing on the Slip N Slide?

Bates: [Crying, yelling, inaudible dialogue]

Call ends.

The grandfather's panicked voice cracks as he shouts into the phone. Both boys are red, and one is turning purple.

"My daughter's kids ... one of them's not breathing. She thinks he might already be dead!" he cries to the dispatcher.

The mother, heard in the background, is sobbing uncontrollably.

The jarring Bradley County 911 recording released Thursday captures the confusion and desperation in the minutes that Tasha Bates and her father, Mike Kile, try to revive 5-year-old Leland and 3-year-old River Bates on June 28.

Both boys died in the following hours, their bodies severely overheated.

The call was made public after Bates was arrested Wednesday, indicted on murder, child neglect and methamphetamine-related charges in connection with the boys' deaths.

Officials say Leland and River died in a car, while Bates, 26, has said they were playing outside on a Slip'n Slide water toy while she was inside the family's nearby house.

"OK, were they in a pool or pond, something?" the dispatcher asks in the call. Kile shouts the question to his daughter, and she screams back "No!"

"Well then, where were they at?" Kile asks, frustration and distress building in his voice. Bates replies that they were out in the front yard, playing.

"They were out there playing and what happened?" he yells.

"I don't know!" his daughter cries.

The 10-minute phone call feels like an eternity as the Bradley County dispatcher tries to coax the grandfather to show his daughter how to do CPR on the boys.

"Listen, if there's a chance, we've gotta do something, OK?" the dispatcher repeats.

Kile's voice breaks as he says he thinks the "little one is gone"; Bates weeps and screams.

She has maintained from that day that she left them outside unattended for 45 minutes while the boys played on the Slip'n Slide, according to reports from the Bradley County Sheriff's Office.

Toward the end of the 911 audio, a first-responder — whose has arrived at the scene — asks the two why the boys are wet.

Kile says there's a Slip'n Slide at the home, but he doesn't know why they're wet. He repeatedly asks Tasha what the boys were doing, and her response isn't clear.

The indictment includes no information on what leads investigators to believe the boys were left in a car, and investigators have refused to release any information surrounding the charges, though the indictment came shortly after a drug task force searched Bates' home for signs of drug use.

Eric Blach, lead investigator with the Bradley County Medical Examiner's Office, said officials had their suspicions that the boys had perished in an enclosed space from the start.

"It seemed very unlikely to us that these children could have a temperature of 105-plus from being outside when the ambient temperature outside was 101 at best," he said. "Two children expire, playing outside right out the door? It just sounded funny to us."

The full autopsies done on the boys have not been released, but Blach has said that their core body temperatures rose to 105 degrees or higher, causing their brains, then their bodies to shut down.

On Wednesday, a Bradley County grand jury charged Bates with two counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated child neglect, four counts of the initiation of meth manufacture and the promotion of meth manufacture -- which means she was found with materials to create meth.

"It's just kinda overwhelming," the boys' paternal grandmother, Linda Bates, said Thursday. "There is some relief, but sadness, too. I'm still pretty numb."

Linda Bates said she believes Tasha Bates had an on-and-off drug habit while she was married to her son. They recently divorced.

Jonathan Bates, the boy's father, has said that he and Tasha Bates have struggled with drug use in the past. He said he's recently been in drug rehab.

"I feel like justice will be done for the sake of my family's sanity, but it still doesn't take away any of the pain," he said. "The least [Tasha Bates] could do is to tell us what happened."

Tasha Bates has several criminal charges on her record, including theft under $500 and domestic assault — both of which were dismissed, Bradley County court records show. Last year, she pleaded guilty to reckless driving.

Her first appearance in Bradley County Criminal Court on the murder and other charges is set for Aug. 13, where she will enter her plea. At this point, she has not acquired an attorney.

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