Sunday, September 30, 2012

Police Seek Leads About 2 Missing Children

Chloie Leverette, Gage Daniel
Missing children Chloie Leverette, 9, left, and Gage Daniel, 7, are seen in undated photographs provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. / AP

 — Police in Middle Tennessee continue to search for leads in the case of two children who have been missing since their home was destroyed by an intense fire last week.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued a statewide Amber Alert on Friday for 9-year old Chloie Leverette and 7-year old Gage Daniel after investigators spent a fifth day trying to determine if there were any remains of the children in the fire debris. TBI said fire experts had come up empty.
TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said that agents continue to “develop investigative leads” but were not searching Saturday at the site of the blaze about 50 miles southeast of Nashville.
TBI has said the children were living with their grandparents. Two bodies tentatively identified as 72-year-old Leon “Bubba” McClaran and his wife, 70-year-old Molli McClaran, were recovered Monday and have been sent to the Nashville medical examiner’s office for autopsy. She was the children’s maternal grandmother, he their step-grandfather.
“I don’t know what to think. I don’t know what to think,” Christopher Daniel, Gage’s father, told The Associated Press in a brief telephone interview Friday. “They don’t think that they burned up in the fire, the way I took it they don’t.”
Daniel, his voice breaking, said he had no idea what could have happened to the children, who have not been seen since before the fire on Sept. 23.
TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said Friday that the alert had not been sent to other states.
“We don’t know where they are,” Helm said Friday. “We don’t have any indication that they’re in another state.”
Multiple fire experts had processed the debris of the incinerated farmhouse, located in horse country roughly 50 miles southeast of Nashville. No trace of the children was found, the TBI said in a news release announcing the alert.
On Wednesday, when officials still had not found evidence of the children’s remains in the debris, TBI issued an endangered child alert.
Helm said Friday the TBI does not have any direct evidence that the children are victims of foul play. She said there are no persons of interest in the case and that investigators are following all leads, but she would not elaborate.
Forensic teams from Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville had been brought in to help in the search.
Christopher Garrett, a spokesman for the State Fire Marshal’s office, said he did not have any information on a cause of the fire


MissUnderstood said...

Here is the info I found in the previous post with the link included:

"Their mother has been spoken to, she does not have the children," Helm told ABC News. "There are other family members that we are looking to speak with today."

Between 2006 and 2010, The Tennessee Department of Children's Services investigated the children's mother and Daniel's father, The Associated Press reported. The department is sharing that information with investigators, said spokesman Brandon Gee.

MissUnderstood said...

Sorry, here is the rest of the info about DHHS, this is the one I can't figure out how to view the non-mobile site though, so the link is a mobile link:

The state Department of Children's Services investigated the mother of the two children and Daniel's father between 2006 and 2010, said spokesman Brandon Gee. Gee would not release the names of the parents nor say why the parents were investigated. He confirmed that the McClarans had custody of the two children, but he said DCS never took custody of the children nor placed them in a home.

Jazzie said...

"Helm said investigators determined Molli McClaran was the children’s grandmother. Agents have interviewed Cheryl Leverette, the mother of the youngsters, and Christopher Daniel, Gage’s father. Chloie’s father is deceased..."

"Asked how the elderly couple ended up raising the children, (Mary) Lamb said, “They needed a home, so they took them.
The state Department of Children’s Services investigated the mother of the two children and Daniel’s father between 2006 and 2010, said spokesman Brandon Gee, though it wasn’t clear whether that led to the children staying with the couple at the farmhouse.”

Jazzie said...

"The children -- identified as 9-year-old Chloie Leverette and 7-year-old Gage Daniel -- were last seen Sunday around 6:30 p.m., approximately three hours before their home burned down, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, or TBI."

Lucy said...

I believe it will be critical to find out if the cause of the fire was arson.

Anonymous said...

I fear something terrible has happened to these children, they didn't just vanish into thin air and with no traces of their bodies found in the remains of the fire. I feel that they were snatched by a murderous perv who also set fire to the house. He (or they) may have already killed the grandmother and her husband prior to burning the house down to cover his tracks. I wish we knew more about this family, their surroundings and neighbors and feel that LE is being remiss in not publishing more information about them. However, it doesn't seem likely that the guardians/grandparents murdered or placed the children somewhere else secretly then burned themselves to death. What a horrible way for them to die.

With such scant info to go on, maybe the grandparents were bound, or whatever happened, but at this point one can only conclude that they must have done all they could to try to save the children. God rest their sweet soul for taking and trying to raise them without the help of their (likely) deadbeat mother and the still living father of the little boy.

This world is such an evil place with drugs, child rape, brutality, child porn and murder, with the peddling of video kiddie porn and violence; that one can only think the worst has happened to them. My heart really goes out to this elderly couple for their sacrifices and suffering, and to these two children who must have witnessed and endured the most horrible and evil things imaginable.

I believe these children are in extreme danger if not already brutalized and murdered. If still alive, they could easily be recognized if seen in public, if enough publicity is put out there in searching for them. I cannot understand why a national amber alert was not issued and not just one in Tenn. This area isn't far from other state boundry lines. I wonder if any relative is stepping forward to help find these babies? Somebody needs to put some pressure on law enforcement.

This reminds me of the case a couple of years back where a killer perv (can't think of his name) had been stalking the family, who also lived in an isolated area, killed them all and statched the two children who were about the same ages of these two. He had already repeatly raped and violently killed the little boy by the time the little girl was recognised alone with him by a waitress in a restaurant and called LE who picked them up, saved the little girl and apprehended the killer perv.

It is no longer safe raising children in a quiet isolated area that normally we would think is safe and peaceful. These areas now seem to be easy pickings for drug offenders, home invasions and child rapes and murders. I have a very bad feeling about the fate of these children. Oh God, help them and hold them close wherever they are, or rescue them and take them home to be in your loving arms eternally so they suffer no more.

Anonymous said...

Shasta and Dylan were kidnapped from their Idaho home by Joseph Edward Duncan III.

Anonymous said...

This is Day 7 and it surprises me the fire has not been determined accidental or arson. This is the key I believe, I hope they are working on this finding with full force. It seems to be in the past when a person(s) is found dead in a fire, their autopsy and the cause of fire is a priority. Why is it taking so long??
(please don't misunderstand me, FINDING HTE CHILDREN should be and I am sure it is the top priority, but it is a different set of investigators. Both priorities can be pursued concurrently.)

Light the Way said...

The very first thought I had, upon hearing this story, was of Shasta and Dylan Groene.

Discovering the source of the blaze; whether it was an act of arson or not, is key to figuring out what happened to the children.
It will also help if the ME can determine the grandparents' cause of death.
While death due to, say, "smoke inhalation" does not preclude the fatal fire having been set by a kidnapper---IF the grandparents are found to have died from some other cause BEFORE the fire, it almost guarantees that the fire was set to destroy evidence.


Jazzie said...

"The children were last seen by a neighbor at 6:30 (3 hours before the fire broke out), we know they were in close proximity to the home"
"The clock ticking, the police are now questioning everyone who knew the kids, including their parents who have extensive criminal records"
"The key to the case is the origin of the fire. Is it an accident or is it intentional?"

MissUnderstood said...

From the article you linked at 8:35, Jazzie:

Police are questioning everyone who knew the kids, including their parents, but investigators said they have no suspects and aren't even sure they have a crime.


They aren't even sure thet have a crime?

Where are these two kids??

Someone "took" them to "protect" them, yet potentially set their home and Grandparents on fire? Or the kids miraculously disappeared?

What is the cause of the fire?

I don't understand why it is taking so long to figure out the cause of the fire. I also think they should expand the Amber Alert, outside of Tennessee, JMO.

Either they know more than they are reporting, or they seem to moving extremely slow.

MissUnderstood said...

Also, they are questioning everyone who *knew* the kids.

I wish we knew if that was a quote from LE.

MissUnderstood said...


Interview with Rodney Stanger, due to the murder of his girlfriend. He is also suspected to be involved in the case of Molly Bish.

There are 2 parts. Part 2 is clickable from this page (part 1). He is briefly asked if he was involved in the Molly Bish case.

Jazzie said...

Accidental or intentional?
Gas stove, cigarette, kids lighting matches, something more malicious?
If kids involved, maybe run and hide?
But LE had helicopters with infrared (detect heat/body source)... Google Earth woods nearby. Nothing.
Both parents have criminal records.
"family close knit"
I don't know what to think.
"Forensics expert Dr. William Bass, who founded the Body Farm research center at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to study the decomposition of corpses in a variety of circumstances to aid scientific and criminal research, said even in an intense fire some bones and teeth should remain. Finding them could be difficult, though, because the fragments might be only a couple of inches long, he said."
They were able to identify grandparents, and one dog. No kids. It was like an extreme archaeological dig sifting.
Nothing was left of the house. Intense inferno destruction.
Slow but methodical. Sifting through ash debris to find small bone/teeth fragments.
Where are the kids?

Jazzie said...

I saw both videos. "Up north" is mentioned, I didn't catch the words "Molly Bish". He talks about his brother, and people wanting to kill him.

Last year I stopped in a randomly chosen Westfield, MA Chinese restaurant with my family. While we were waiting for our order, a "regular" comes in and starts talking up his theory how Rodney Stanger is involved in both the Lisa Ziegert and Molly Bish murder cases with quite the bravado. Of course I think this guy is a nut job/alcoholic but my curiosity draws me in. The waitress and her brother who work there just roll their eyes and chalk it up to "regular" guy's quirky obsession/off kilterness/God only knows what addled his brain.

Tania Cadogan said...

Is it possible the kids were murdered/killed accidentally and their bodies hidden before the killers committed murder/suicide whilst the house burned down around them?
Unlikely i know yet it cannot be discounted as we have seen cases where parents kill their families before killing themselves.
How better to get back at the family than to deprive them not only of their kids but also where they are.

I would be interested to know what the relationships are like between the grandparents and the parents of the kids.

It is uncommon for a predator to kill the adults in the house and then take the kids, it has happened before though so cannot be excluded.
The predator would be taking a huge risk.
He wouldn't know if the adults were armed and if they were taken during daylight hours he runs the risk of being seen by people up and about.
If it was a predator then they would to have been targetted rather than a spur of the moment.
I feel it is someone known to the family since this is more common than a random predator getting into the house taking out the adults and dog and then removing the kids.
Would the kids have been taken first before the house was torched, were the adults alive or dead before the house was torched, were the kids an afterthought?
Is it possible the kids ran and are so traumatised they are avoiding any adults they hear searching for them?

Could the kids have caused the fire accidentally and ran out of fear of punishment as well as panic and again are now hiding from the searchers for fear of punishment?

Children do not disappear into thin air.
Even if they perrished in the fire there would still be remains, teeth and pieces of bone ( in crematoriums they have to crush the remains into ashes bfore returning them to the family)

MissUnderstood said...

I'm sorry Jazzie. I didn't mean to imply that they actually spoke about Molly Bish. He's really being questioned about his girlfriend.

He is, locally anyway, suspected of being involved with Molly Bish. There are sketches of him (that look just like him), that Molly's sister helped LE with.

He said he's from MA, then something about murder(s)? up north. I couldn't hear it too good. He says "I don't even know what happened", "I have no idea, I wish I did". I was wondering what those two sentences mean in SA.

Anyway, I'm sorry. People are hoping that he talks or gets caught, if he is involved, which most people do think.

Here is a small written article.

Jazzie said...

Viewed video very late last night so missed things.
Went to this link where they isolated segments of interest:

I had bookmarked this site awhile ago:
I forgot about the Holly Piirainen case in relation to Molly Bish case.

Anonymous said...

Yes Hobnob, several possibilities could be involved with the loss of these children; but it is highly unlikely they would be hiding out in the woods or on someone elses farm after this length of time.

They would have been hungry, thirsty, wet, dirty, cold/hot, tired and severely insect bitten long before now, not to mention encountering the possibility of infections from poisonous plants if they were on the run and trying to hide. What would they be eating if this were the case, grass, leaves, bugs and worms? And just how far could they get on foot? Makes no sense. They would have had to seek out help days ago. Besides all that, choppers with infrared cameras have already searched the area for miles around producing no signals of human habitation so far. Is there an outside chance the children tried to run away to escape the horrible inferno? Could they be hiding in some broken down old trailer or abandoned isolated shanty? Of course, and I hope the areas and other homes are still being searched, though surely they would have been found by now if that were the case?

Another possibility is that some drug/child porn connection to one of the parents could be involved. Who can say how many or what kind of criminals might have shown up at the door with one of the parents and later went back to commit this crime and take the children? There are several possibilities. It has already been established that both parents have extensive criminal records so the possibility does exist that one of them may have been inadvertently involved if not directly.

Also, the step-grandfather was taking care of the grandmother who had cancer, which would also mean that he was the primary caretaker and supporter of the children as well. He could have rationalized in his state of mind that these were children that weren't even related to him while he has the entire responsibility with no help from their deadbeat parents. At his age and status in life, all this would have been a heavy load to carry. Could he have been so weary and worn out that he snapped and killed them all, then set fire to the house and killed himself in the process? Sure he could have.

If no traces of their remains are found in the burned out ash debris then obviously they were taken prior to the total destruction of the home, either before or during, which has been known to happen in several cases in recent years where families were stalked and a child or children taken, sometimes eliminating the whole family. It's not so unusual to burn down the evidence (home, automobile, barn) with bodies inside in an attempt to hide the crime.

Meanwhile, LE should be making a massive search all over the country for these children and not just in Tenn. I cannot see where it would hurt them to be on the lookout for them all over the country and even into Canada and Mexico. Every law official and patrol in the country should be on the alert for these children. Perpetrators DO have vehicles and they CAN drive. No harm in looking for the children cross-country while searchers continue to sift through the debris and the ME awaits autopsy results of the grandparents.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:06, I agree, there should be an alert nationwide just in case.

Anonymous said...

Are the two children full siblings? Are the grandparents blood relatives of either or both of the children? Sorry, I came to the story late and I am confused about who is related to whom. The children bear different last names. And different names from the grandparents. Any help would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 12:56, As I understand it, the children are half siblings and have the same mother but different fathers, that is why they have different last names. The father of Chloie, aged 9, is deceased and the father of Gage, aged 7, is still living.

The grandmother is the maternal grandmother and her husband is the step-father of the children's mother, so they have a different last name too. This makes the grandmother's husband the children's step-grandfather. I haven't heard if the children's mother and Gage's father are still together, only that they have extensive records but are both said to be cooperating with police in the children's disappearance.

Do you know if there have been any recent updates in the case?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 12:56, I just read a google link article that says the girl (assuming this means Chloie) also used the name Pope. No info as to who someone named Pope could be. Maybe the mother was married to someone whose last name was Pope, or had a boyfriend named Pope and the little girl liked using the name? Have no idea.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anonymous 3:09. I surely do appreciate the info. regarding the relationships of the principles. I think I can follow the case, now!