Bradley County brothers' deaths still under investigation

Bradley County brothers' deaths still under investigation

July 3rd, 2012 by Paul Leach in News

Leland Bates

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

River Bates

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- The Bradley County Sheriff's Office isn't going to release new details on the deaths of two young boys until the results from their autopsies are in, authorities say.

On Monday afternoon, the sheriff's office reported that autopsies had been completed on both children -- 3-year-old River Bates and 5-year-old Leland Bates -- who appear to have died as a result of an incident on Thursday afternoon.

"The autopsies have been completed, but we have no results yet," said Bob Gault, spokesman for the sheriff's office.

The autopsy for River was completed Friday, and an autopsy for Leland was completed Saturday, said Gault.

Further details regarding the investigation would be pending the official results of the autopsies, he said.

A memorial service will be held for the brothers today at the North Chapel of the Jim Rush Funeral Home at 11 a.m., followed by interment at Moore's Chapel Cemetery.

The children's mother, Tasha Moses, called emergency dispatch shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday to report a possible drowning involving her sons, according to Bradley County EMS officials.

While the incident occurred at the family's residence at 879 Keith Valley Road, Moses took her children to her father's home on 851 Armstrong Road and placed the emergency call from there because she had no phone at her home, said Gault in a Friday news release.

Although the initial call to Bradley County 911 indicated a possible drowning, officials said they were not completely clear regarding the situation on Thursday.

"We're getting mixed reports where this took place or what the circumstances were," said Bradley County EMS spokesman Stan Clark.

At least one of the children was unresponsive when emergency crews arrived on the scene at the Armstrong address, said Clark on Friday.

River died in an ambulance while en route to SkyRidge Medical Center in Cleveland on Thursday afternoon.

Leland was flown by helicopter to the Children's Hospital at Erlanger, where he was officially listed as being in critical condition by hospital officials. He died Friday afternoon while receiving treatment at the hospital.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at