Law enforcement officials investigating report of abuse at Chattanooga facility for migrant kids

Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Redemption to the Nations is housing unaccompanied migrant children who arrived at the border in recent weeks in an unused former Tennessee Temple dormitory that the church leases.

State and federal authorities, along with local law enforcement, are investigating a report of child abuse at a Chattanooga facility that has come under fire from Tennessee's Republican lawmakers for housing migrant children picked up by federal border authorities.

The abuse was reported to officials with the Department of Children's Services, accompanied by an interpreter, by a teenage boy at the facility during a surprise inspection, DCS Commissioner Jennifer Nichols told lawmakers on Wednesday. The boy reported he had witnessed abuse, not that he was the victim.

The Department of Children's Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and local law enforcement are investigating, Nichols said.

Nichols did not disclose details of the allegations made by the boy. He was one of six children selected at random by DCS inspectors for an interview.