CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Chattanooga Police Department charged a suspect with the death of an 11-moth-old baby found near Tunnel Boulevard in Chattanooga.
Police arrested and charged 30-year-old Travis McCullough with criminal homicide and three counts of aggravated child neglect.
24-year-old Jessica Tollett is also charged with three counts of aggravated child abuse and neglect.
In an affidavit police say McCullough dropped Tollett off at work, then went to The Buffalo Shack on Tunnel Boulevard.
Police say McCullough asked the owner of The Buffalo shack, his father, for $20 to purchase gas.
The Shack’s owner said that McCullough could work for the money instead.
The affidavit says McCullough worked for several hours with the 11-month old still in the car.
McCullough’s father told police that McCullough had tried to work with the children in the car in the past, but was not allowed to do so and had no idea the children were in the car at the time.
The affidavit claims when medics arrived on scene, the baby’s temperature was 106 degrees and “insects were observed flying from the eyes, nose and mouth of the victim.”
CPD’s Spokesperson says McCullough gave the infant to a bystander and then drove away to get gas with the two other kids inside the car.
She says McCullough then dropped off the two other children with a family member, who then showed back up at the scene.
Police say the children looked like they were suffering from neglect.
Officers said both children smelled strongly of urine and had several bruises and scars.
The affidavit claims when both children were given food, they ate quickly and were ‘very protective of their food as though they had not eaten recently’.
The children were taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
Police were given consent to search the home where the children live and according to the affidavit, called the conditions inside the home “atrocious.”
The affidavit claims investigators found a room covered with urine and feces. Police say there was only one bed and one crib inside the home, and there was next to no food inside the refrigerator.
According to the affidavit, Tollett told officers they were on food stamps and running low on food.
She also told officers they would use the belt to punish their children when they get in trouble.
The affidavit also claims she told officers she didn’t know how the children got the marks on their bodies.
Tollett also told officers one of the children had not seen a doctor since he was two, even though he showed signs of a developmental disability.
The affidavit claims “based on the living conditions of the home, lack of medical care, lack of food and visible injuries on the [children], there is probable cause to believe that the act of aggravated child neglect has occurred.”
Police are still actively investigating the incident.