The mystery of what caused the death of a Tennessee toddler last week only deepened on Tuesday when a local paper reported the 2-year-old child was discovered in a car parked in front of a local mayor's home.
Officers received a 911 call from a woman about 2 p.m. on Friday saying her child was left in a vehicle parked outside a Gatlinburg home, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported Tuesday. The Sevier County Property Assessor's Office revealed the home was owned by Jerry Kirkman, the mayor of Westmoreland.
"We believe [the person who called police] made the call when they got up. Their work schedule, they work late at night from the previous night and what we understand, the child was left in the car from the night before,” Gatlinburg Police Chief Randall Brackins told WATE.
The child's mother and paramedics administered CPR, but they were unable to revive the child.
Kirkland did not respond to the News Sentinel's request for a comment and authorities have not released the identities of those involved in the incident. The gender of the toddler was not immediately known, either.
It's also unclear what caused the child's death, but Randall said it appeared to be accidental.
"[The parents] were very upset and very anxious," Randall said.
Kirkland oversees a town in Sumner County with a population of about 2,200 people.
Temperatures reached close to 90 degrees on Thursday and Friday in Gatlinburg. Authorities are waiting for autopsy results to determine if extreme heat caused the toddler's death.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Gatlinburg Police Department are probing the incident.