KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It's been nearly a week since the Knoxville Police Department began an investigation into the death of a child that was left in a car.
It happened on a Friday afternoon, August 9, in the parking lot of the Food City located on Clinton Highway at Merchants Road.
When officers arrived on the scene around 3 p.m., they found a young child dead inside a vehicle.
Six days later, we haven't learned any more from investigators. Not the age, gender or name of the child, and no word on who was responsible for that child or the circumstances of why and how long that child was left in the car.
We have heard from many viewers, asking why more information has not been released on the death of the child, and why no one has been charged.
We have asked KPD for an update every day since it happened, as we are sure the other local media outlets have done as well. The only answer we've gotten is a variation of "the investigation is ongoing and we have nothing more to release at this time."
We've also asked to see the incident report, which usually provides information like victim and witness names and a narrative about what the responding officer found. It's usually available within 24 hours of an incident, but that report has not been released.
On Thursday, KPD Communications Manager Scott Erland emailed local news managers to address the frustration felt by both the media and the public about the lack of information in this case.
"I know that all of you are patiently waiting to get more information on the child death investigation from this past Friday. I understand the pressure you are all under to report on it and sympathize with your position. And for that reason, I wanted to share with a little more detail why we haven’t released any more information.
At this point, the KPD Criminal Investigations Division, the TN Department of Children’s Services and the Knox County Regional Forensics Office are jointly investigating the case. When the investigation is complete, the file will be turned over to the Knox County Attorney General’s Office. Due to the age of the child and the involvement of the DCS, we simply can’t release any additional information until the case is complete. We will release the findings and any additional information upon that case’s resolution.
I know that’s not the exact news you wanted from us today, but I hope that clarifies our position at this point and time. I really appreciate your patience and understanding."
So the public knows as much as the local news media does. We know there are lots of rumors and unverified information going around, but none of that has been verified by any of the agencies that are investigating this case.
As soon as KPD releases new information or the incident report or investigative file is made available, we will update this story that we know so many people care about.