A Tennessee couple was charged with first-degree murder after their two-year-old boy, Kipp Phillips, was found dead inside a car on 14 July. The toddler died after being left in the vehicle outside their home overnight.
Gatlinburg police said the child's mother, Jade Elizabeth Phillips, called 911 around 2 pm that day, saying that Kipp was not responding. According to reports, the temperatures in Gatlinburg had reached above 90C that day.
"We believe they 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 ABC affiliate WATE in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The Fourth District of Tennessee Attorney General Jimmy Dunn said in a release that the 24-year-old Jade and 26-year-old Anthony Dyllan Phillips were charged with two counts of murder committed in the perpetration of aggravated child neglect, first-degree murder committed in the perpetration of aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect and aggravated child abuse.
Both of them are at the Sumner County Jail, where they are being held on a $250,000 bond. The hearing dates are yet to come.
If convicted, the toddler's parents could face the death penalty, life in prison or a life term with a minimum of 51 years, reports said.
The incident happened just days after an Atlanta mother was charged with second-degree murder of her one-year-old. Dijaelle Etta Fowler is accused of killing her child after she left her in a hot car for almost six hours to get her hair done.
Fowler was also charged with child cruelty and concealing the death.