Watch CBSN Live

Parents charged with murder after toddler left in car overnight dies

GATLINBURG, Tenn. -- A Tennessee couple whose 2-year-old son died after being left in a vehicle outside a Gatlinburg home overnight have been arrested on murder charges.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Sevier County District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn said in a news release that a grand jury returned presentments against Jade Elizabeth Phillips and Anthony Dyllan Phillips.

They were arrested Monday and are charged with first-degree murder committed in perpetration of aggravated child neglect, first-degree murder committed in perpetration of aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect and aggravated child abuse.

Gatlinburg police found the boy dead just before 2 p.m. on July 14 after one of the parents called 911 and reported leaving the child in the vehicle overnight.

CBS affiliate WVLT reports Jade Phillips is the daughter of Jerry Kirkman, the mayor of Westmoreland, a town northeast of Nashville. The 2-year-old was reportedly his grandchild. The station reports Kirkman owns the Gatlinburg home where the boy was found dead.

 "Your heart just sinks, it just drops," Gatlinburg police chief Randall Brackins told he station. "You're just kind of like, a child left in a car? How could that happen?"

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.