Dad Arrested After 11-Month-Old’s Hot Car Death: He Allegedly Tossed Her Body to Bystander and Fled

Police in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have arrested a 30-year-old father of three as they continue to investigate the death of his 11-month-old daughter, who they allege was left in a hot car for several hours on Saturday as he worked nearby in a food truck, PEOPLE confirms.

According to affidavits obtained by PEOPLE, Travis McCullough faces a single homicide charge as well as three counts of aggravated assault following the death of his toddler daughter, Kiara.

McCullough was detained Sunday morning and remains in police custody with a $1 million bond. He has yet to enter a plea to the charges against him and has not retained legal counsel who could comment on his behalf.

Investigators say they were called to a parking lot in Chattanooga on Saturday by a woman who allegedly overheard McCullough screaming for help.

The woman ran up to McCullough, who was yelling for help, the affidavit claims. As the woman was approaching, he allegedly “tossed” the baby’s lifeless and naked body into her arms and fled the area in his car.

The woman waited until police arrived. Emergency medical responders declared the girl dead at the scene, and her temperature was 106 degrees, according to the affidavits.

Her body, police noted in charging documents, was hot to the touch. She had insects flying around her eyes, nose and mouth.

Officers caught up with McCullough the following morning and took him into custody. Detectives allege that Kiara was left in her father’s car for several hours with her two siblings, who have since been turned over to Child Protective Services.

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The two other children, the court documents allege, were dirty, malnourished and showed signs of abuse. Their mother, 24-year-old Jessica Tollett, was also arrested and charged with three counts of child abuse. She remains in jail with a $300,000 bond.

Tollett has not pleaded to the charges against her and does not have an attorney.

Affidavits allege that McCullough “knowingly and willfully left the victims inside the vehicle exposing them to extreme heat for hours” and notes one of his three children had several facial bruises and abrasions.

Both McCullough and Tollett were previously arrested, in 2012, on child abuse and neglect charges. The disposition of those charges was not immediately clear.

Investigators noted in charging documents that a search of the family’s home found “atrocious” conditions: One room was covered in feces and urine, and detectives only found one bed and one crib.

McCullough is set to appear in court next on July 18 while Tollett has a court date set for July 24.

from PEOPLE.com http://people.com/crime/chattanooga-dad-arrested-daughter-hot-car-death/

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