Parents Charged After Baby Found Dead In Hot Car

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Parents of three children in Chatanooga have been charged with child neglect, and the father with criminal homicide, after a baby died in a hot car.

Police say that Investigators arrived on scene to investigate the death of an 11-month-old infant.

Chattanooga Police Homicide investigators determined that the baby’s father, Travis McCullough, is a suspect.

Officers determined the baby died after being left in an unattended vehicle for an extended period of time, on a day where temperatures were above 80 degrees.

Officials say that another family member arrived on scene with 2 more children who appeared to be suffering from neglect symptoms. One of the children had bruising on both eyes and an abrasion to the forehead and smelled strongly of urine.

The children were taken to a local hospital for evaluation and checked by medical personnel. Records state that marks on his back appeared to look like a belt or other object and was still wearing pull-up diapers and was non-verbal. When given food, both children ate fast and were very protective of the food as though they had not eaten recently.

The family residence was searched and investigators found the living conditions to be atrocious. One of the rooms was covered in urine and feces and there were only one bed and one crib inside the residence. The refrigerator and freezer were empty with no food.

Police say that 24-year old, Jessica Tollett, the children’s mother,  told police that her, McCullough and the 3 children have lived at the residence for about a year. She said that they were on food stamps but were running low on food.

Tollett told police that they would use a belt to punish the children when they got into trouble and also stated that one of her children had not seen a doctor since they were two years old – which was a result of his obvious developmental delays.

Police say that based on the living conditions, lack of medical care, lack of food, and visible injuries on the children Tollett was arrested on three counts of aggravated child abuse or neglect.

Her bond was set at $300,000 and McCullough was charged with criminal homicide and 3 counts of aggravated child neglect. His bond was set at $700,000.

Child Protective Services will be taking custody of the two other children once they are medically cleared.

The official cause of death for the infant is still to be determined by the Hamilton County Medical Examiner’s office through autopsy.

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