Child found dead in vehicle outside Food City shopping center, says KPD

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Investigators responded to reports of a child locked in a vehicle on Clinton Highway near Merchants Drive on Friday, August 9.

Just after 3 p.m., officials said they received a call about a deceased child in the 5000 block of Clinton Highway in the Food City shopping center.

Upon arrival, investigators found the child dead. They do not know the exact age of the child and could not confirm whether it was a boy or girl.

A witness at the scene told WVLT News reporter Justin McDuffie that she was on the phone in the parking lot of Food City when she noticed a woman pacing back and forth and crying outside a vehicle.

The witness said when she approached the vehicle, she saw a small child, no older than six, laying in the backseat.

Shortly after that, an undercover police officer approached the woman and within two to three minutes multiple emergency responders decended on the scene, the witness said.

KPD did not say that the child died due to heat-related incidents, but did say that neither animals nor children would do well in the heat if left in a vehicle.

KPD said they are looking to get the full details of the incident.

"We have to get more details...before we feel comfortable releasing anything else," spokesperson Scott Erland said.