A 9-year-old boy is dead and his mother and her boyfriend are in the Marion County Jail because authorities became suspicious after finding them inside a Jeep stranded in a shallow part of the Sequatchie River.
When the Jeep was found Saturday night, it was in water only about 3 feet deep, Sheriff Ronnie "Bo" Burnett said. "The water wasn't deep enough that he drowned."
He isn't releasing the boy's name.
The boy's mother, Lindsey Newsom, 27, was arrested Sunday on charges of felony reckless endangerment, child abuse and neglect and prescription drug abuse, officials said.
She was taken to Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tenn., then transferred to Erlanger in Chattanooga and released from there about 4 a.m., Burnett said. He didn't know the nature of her injuries.
The boyfriend, Nicholas Mosier, 30, was arrested Saturday night. Mosier was driving the Jeep and faces his third driving under the influence charge, Burnett said, as well as driving without a license, prescription drug possession, two counts of felony reckless endangerment and aggravated child abuse and neglect.
Emergency personnel responded after callers reported at 8:15 p.m. CDT that the Jeep was stranded near state Highway 28 in Whitwell, Tenn., the sheriff said.
"It's a real low part of the river that, during the summer months, you can drive across it," Burnett said. "It's pretty popular for people to use."
"We've sent the deceased boy to Nashville for an autopsy," the sheriff said, but he declined to say if the boy was wearing a seat belt.
Burnett said the investigation is being conducted by the Marion County Sheriff's Office, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6651.
Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.