Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

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Normal Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:20 pm

MIDDLE TN AMBER ALERT.....................
AMBER Alert has been issued for the Bedford County Sheriff's Office for 9-year old Chloie Leverette and 7-year old Gage Daniel. The children were last seen on Sunday, September 23, 2012 at approximately 6:30 p.m. by a neighbor. Chloie and Gage lived with their grandparents at 730 Kingdom Road, Unionville, Tennessee. That home was destroyed by fire on Sunday night at approximately 9:30 p.m. After an extensive five day search, multiple fire experts have processed the scene and are unable to locate evidence that Chloie and Gage were victims of the fire. The location of Chloie and Gage are unknown at this time. If you have any information concerning the children, please contact the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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Normal Re: Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:24 pm

September 27, 2012 8:35 AM

Gage Daniel and Chloie Leverette: Two Tenn. kids believed dead in house fire now thought missing

By Crimesider Staff Topics Daily Blotter

(CBS/AP) NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee investigators are trying to locate two children who were initially believed to be dead but their bodies were not found at the scene of a weekend fire at a farmhouse that killed their step-grandparents.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued an endangered child alert on Wednesday for 9-year-old Chloie Leverette and 7-year-old Gage Daniel under "under an abundance of caution."

"As time moves on, we don't want to miss our opportunity to locate them if they were not in the house," said TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm.

Bedford County Sheriff Randall Boyce said investigators did find the bodies of 72-year-old Leon McClaran and his 70-year-old wife, Molli McClaran, as well as the remains of a dog.

The two children who lived at the house were initially believed to have perished in the intense fire, which firefighters battled overnight Sunday and early Monday. But their remains were not found in the rubble.

Investigators said neighbors last saw the children Sunday evening, hours before a fire destroyed the home in Bedford County, about 40 miles southeast of Nashville.

Helm said there is no evidence yet that the children were not in the house, but investigators are speaking with family members, friends and people at the children's school.

The State Fire Marshal's Office said in a statement "that there are no remains of the two children in the structure. The children's location at this time is unknown." Its investigators will determine a cause.

Forensic anthropologists and cadaver dogs searched through the rubble for the bodies and the Tennessee Highway Patrol used a helicopter to search the surrounding area.

Family members told The Associated Press that the McClarans were raising their step-grandchildren because the kids needed a home and described the McClarans as generous people who loved their family. Relatives of the McClarans said the girl also used the last name Pope.

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.

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Normal Re: Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:30 pm

TENN. SEARCH FOR 2 CHILDREN FOCUSES ON FIRE DEBRIS
By KRISTIN M. HALL
— Sep. 27 4:27 PM EDT
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This combination of undated photos provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows Gage Daniel, 7, left, and Chloie Leverette, 9. The two children, initially believed to have perished in a Tennessee farmhouse fire along with their step-grandparents, are now considered missing and in danger, investigators said on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the remains of Leverette and Daniel were not found and the agency issued an endangered child alert for them on Wednesday afternoon. Investigators said neighbors last saw the children Sunday evening, Sept. 23, 2012, hours before a fire destroyed the home in Bedford County about a half-hour from Nashville. (AP Photo/Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

FILE - In a Sunday night, Sept. 23, 2012 file photo, Unionville firefighters battle a blaze at a home on Kingdom Road near Rover, Tenn. Investigators on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012 say they are looking for two children they initially believed had perished in the farmhouse fire along with their step-grandparents. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday issued an endangered child alert for 9-year-old Chloie Leverette and 7-year-old Gage Daniel. Investigators say they could not find the children's remains in the house (AP Photo/Shelbyville Times-Gazette, David Melson, File)

Workers are still on the job Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, near Shelbyville, Tenn., at the site of a house fire that where an elderly couple and two young children lived. Authorities were searching the debris for the remains of the two missing children, 9-year-old Chloie Leverette and 7-year-old Gage Daniel. The two children were initially believed to have perished in the intense fire, which firefighters battled overnight Sunday and early Monday. (AP Photo/Kristin M. Hall)

A worker moves a wheel barrel on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, near Shelbyville, Tenn., at the site of a house fire where an elderly couple and two young children lived. Authorities were searching the debris for the remains of the two missing children, 9-year-old Chloie Leverette and 7-year-old Gage Daniel. The two children were initially believed to have perished in the intense fire, which firefighters battled overnight Sunday and early Monday. (AP Photo/Kristin M. Hall)
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SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities looking for any trace of two missing children doggedly sifted the ashes of a deadly house fire, searched rolling farmland nearby and untangled complicated family relationships.

Investigators aren't sure if 9-year-old Chloie Leverette and her half brother, 7-year-old Gage Daniel, died along with an elderly couple raising them in a fire that incinerated their home Sunday night. Two bodies tentatively identified as 72-year-old Leon "Bubba" McClaran and his 70-year-old wife, Molli McClaran, were recovered Monday but fire investigators said they found no remains of the children.

At the same time, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has found no indication of foul play or a reason to believe the children weren't trapped in the fire.

When the agency was called in Wednesday, it issued an endangered children alert in what spokeswoman Kristin Helm called "an abundance of caution." Search teams with dogs fanned out around the property and helicopters hovered above.

Not knowing is the hardest part, said Mary Lamb, sister of Leon McClaran.

"We want to know. We want to know where those children are, if they were in the fire or if they were taken," she said.

On Thursday, investigators focused on the fire debris at the home, located in horse country roughly 50 miles southeast of Nashville.

Family members and reporters were kept back from the home, which has taken on the appearance of an archaeological dig. Heavy machinery lifted bulky pieces of debris. Large sifting tray tables were set up while workers filled a half-dozen wheelbarrows with fine material from the fire.

It was still not clear what caused the fire, which burned for hours, in part because firefighters had trouble getting water to the remote location.

Local investigators from the Bedford County Sheriff's Department referred all questions to the TBI.

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, she said.

So far, authorities haven't gotten any new leads.

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.

Family members aren't sure what to think.

Daniel, Gage's father, said he believed the children were in the house when it caught fire but was holding out hope they might be found alive.

Lamb was among about six relatives at the home Thursday waiting for news from investigators. She said she had believed all four died in the fire until the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation put out the endangered child alert.

"I think that we changed our thinking when the TBI came in," Lamb said. "We realized that there might be something else."

Around the burned-out home on the family farmstead were many signs of children — a bicycle, a plastic yellow play house and toy car large enough for a child to ride in.

Asked how the elderly couple ended up raising the children, 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.

Lamb described Gage, whom the family called "Buster," as "the sweetest little boy."

She said he was a special needs child who followed Leon McClaran everywhere and especially loved to ride with him on the Gator, a small utility vehicle.


She said Chloie would play with one of her young cousins who lived in a neighboring home.

"One day the two of them came up to me in the dirtiest little swimsuits and I said, 'Where have you been?' cause I knew there were no ponds around," Lamb said. "They had been in the cattle trough," she said laughing.

Both the children loved the farm life, in particular the animals that included a white pony, a herd of goats, chickens and dogs. At least one dog died in the fire, misleading investigators early on into thinking its carcass was the body of one of the children.

"It's tragic either way you go. But our hearts are so saddened about these children. Molli and Bubba lived 70 years, but these children were 7 and 9 and it is heartbreaking."

Lamb said authorities warned her at the beginning of the investigation that they may never be certain what happened to the children.

"They will continue to search until they know something," she said.

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Normal Re: Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:30 pm

TENN. SEARCH FOR 2 CHILDREN FOCUSES ON FIRE DEBRIS
By KRISTIN M. HALL
— Sep. 27 4:27 PM EDT
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This combination of undated photos provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows Gage Daniel, 7, left, and Chloie Leverette, 9. The two children, initially believed to have perished in a Tennessee farmhouse fire along with their step-grandparents, are now considered missing and in danger, investigators said on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the remains of Leverette and Daniel were not found and the agency issued an endangered child alert for them on Wednesday afternoon. Investigators said neighbors last saw the children Sunday evening, Sept. 23, 2012, hours before a fire destroyed the home in Bedford County about a half-hour from Nashville. (AP Photo/Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

FILE - In a Sunday night, Sept. 23, 2012 file photo, Unionville firefighters battle a blaze at a home on Kingdom Road near Rover, Tenn. Investigators on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012 say they are looking for two children they initially believed had perished in the farmhouse fire along with their step-grandparents. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday issued an endangered child alert for 9-year-old Chloie Leverette and 7-year-old Gage Daniel. Investigators say they could not find the children's remains in the house (AP Photo/Shelbyville Times-Gazette, David Melson, File)

Workers are still on the job Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, near Shelbyville, Tenn., at the site of a house fire that where an elderly couple and two young children lived. Authorities were searching the debris for the remains of the two missing children, 9-year-old Chloie Leverette and 7-year-old Gage Daniel. The two children were initially believed to have perished in the intense fire, which firefighters battled overnight Sunday and early Monday. (AP Photo/Kristin M. Hall)

A worker moves a wheel barrel on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, near Shelbyville, Tenn., at the site of a house fire where an elderly couple and two young children lived. Authorities were searching the debris for the remains of the two missing children, 9-year-old Chloie Leverette and 7-year-old Gage Daniel. The two children were initially believed to have perished in the intense fire, which firefighters battled overnight Sunday and early Monday. (AP Photo/Kristin M. Hall)
Prev 1 of 4 Next

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities looking for any trace of two missing children doggedly sifted the ashes of a deadly house fire, searched rolling farmland nearby and untangled complicated family relationships.

Investigators aren't sure if 9-year-old Chloie Leverette and her half brother, 7-year-old Gage Daniel, died along with an elderly couple raising them in a fire that incinerated their home Sunday night. Two bodies tentatively identified as 72-year-old Leon "Bubba" McClaran and his 70-year-old wife, Molli McClaran, were recovered Monday but fire investigators said they found no remains of the children.

At the same time, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has found no indication of foul play or a reason to believe the children weren't trapped in the fire.

When the agency was called in Wednesday, it issued an endangered children alert in what spokeswoman Kristin Helm called "an abundance of caution." Search teams with dogs fanned out around the property and helicopters hovered above.

Not knowing is the hardest part, said Mary Lamb, sister of Leon McClaran.

"We want to know. We want to know where those children are, if they were in the fire or if they were taken," she said.

On Thursday, investigators focused on the fire debris at the home, located in horse country roughly 50 miles southeast of Nashville.

Family members and reporters were kept back from the home, which has taken on the appearance of an archaeological dig. Heavy machinery lifted bulky pieces of debris. Large sifting tray tables were set up while workers filled a half-dozen wheelbarrows with fine material from the fire.

It was still not clear what caused the fire, which burned for hours, in part because firefighters had trouble getting water to the remote location.

Local investigators from the Bedford County Sheriff's Department referred all questions to the TBI.

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, she said.

So far, authorities haven't gotten any new leads.

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.

Family members aren't sure what to think.

Daniel, Gage's father, said he believed the children were in the house when it caught fire but was holding out hope they might be found alive.

Lamb was among about six relatives at the home Thursday waiting for news from investigators. She said she had believed all four died in the fire until the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation put out the endangered child alert.

"I think that we changed our thinking when the TBI came in," Lamb said. "We realized that there might be something else."

Around the burned-out home on the family farmstead were many signs of children — a bicycle, a plastic yellow play house and toy car large enough for a child to ride in.

Asked how the elderly couple ended up raising the children, 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.

Lamb described Gage, whom the family called "Buster," as "the sweetest little boy."

She said he was a special needs child who followed Leon McClaran everywhere and especially loved to ride with him on the Gator, a small utility vehicle.


She said Chloie would play with one of her young cousins who lived in a neighboring home.

"One day the two of them came up to me in the dirtiest little swimsuits and I said, 'Where have you been?' cause I knew there were no ponds around," Lamb said. "They had been in the cattle trough," she said laughing.

Both the children loved the farm life, in particular the animals that included a white pony, a herd of goats, chickens and dogs. At least one dog died in the fire, misleading investigators early on into thinking its carcass was the body of one of the children.

"It's tragic either way you go. But our hearts are so saddened about these children. Molli and Bubba lived 70 years, but these children were 7 and 9 and it is heartbreaking."

Lamb said authorities warned her at the beginning of the investigation that they may never be certain what happened to the children.

"They will continue to search until they know something," she said.

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Normal Re: Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:35 pm













NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two children initially believed to have perished in an intense Tennessee farmhouse fire along with their step-grandparents are now considered missing and perhaps in danger, investigators said on Wednesday.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the remains of 9-year-old Chloie Leverette and 7-year-old Gage Daniel were not found and the agency issued an endangered child alert for them on Wednesday afternoon. Investigators said neighbors last saw the children Sunday evening, hours before a fire destroyed the home in Bedford County about 40 miles southeast of Nashville.

TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said the district attorney asked the agency to investigate the fatal fire and the whereabouts of the children. She said there is no evidence yet that the children were not in the house, but investigators are speaking with family members, friends and people at the children's school.

Helm said TBI issued the alert "under an abundance of caution."

"As time moves on, we don't want to miss our opportunity to locate them if they were not in the house," Helm said.

The State Fire Marshal's Office said in a statement that it has concluded "that there are no remains of the two children in the structure. The children's location at this time is unknown." Its investigators will determine a cause.

Bedford County Sheriff Randall Boyce said investigators did find the bodies of 72-year-old Leon "Bubba" McClaran and his 70-year-old wife, Molli McClaran. He said Monday that investigators had found three bodies, but now says one turned out to be that of a dog.

Helm confirmed that the remains of two people and an animal were recovered in the house, but she said the medical examiner would have to positively identify them.

The fire was very intense and quickly collapsed the walls of the house. Firefighters spent several hours battling the flames overnight Sunday and early Monday, but they were hindered because the house sat far back from the road and was not near a hydrant.

Forensic anthropologists and cadaver dogs searched through the rubble for the remaining bodies and the Tennessee Highway Patrol used a helicopter to search the surrounding area.

Even in an intense fire, some bones and teeth should remain, although finding them may be extremely difficult, said Dr. William Bass, who founded the Body Farm research facility at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where researchers study the decomposition of corpses in a variety of circumstances to aid scientific and criminal research.

"When you cremate a body in a crematorium, and it is cooling down, when you open the door, you can still identify the bones even if they are children," he said.

A child's skeleton contains many more bones than an adult skeleton, and bones and teeth shrink in size when exposed to fire, so the bones the investigators are looking for could be only a couple of inches long, he said.
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Family members told The Associated Press that the McClarans were raising their step-grandchildren because they needed a home and described them as generous people who loved their family. Relatives of the McClarans said the girl also used the last name Pope.

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.

He would not say why the parents were investigated, but said the agency was sharing information with law enforcement involved in their search. He confirmed that the McClarans had custody of the two children, but he said DCS has never taken custody of them nor placed them in a home.



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Normal Re: Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:37 pm



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Normal Re: Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:31 pm



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By LINSEY DAVIS (@LinseyDavis)
Sept. 29, 2012
Tennessee officials put out a statewide Amber Alert on Friday for 9-year old Chloie Leverette and her 7-year-old brother, Gage Daniel.

Six days ago, a fire torched the home they lived in with their grandmother, 70-year-old Molli McClaran, and her husband, 72-year-old Leon "Bubba" McClaran, in Unionville, Tenn., about 40 miles southeast of Nasvhille.

While the cause of the fire is still unknown, investigators initially believed that all four family members were asleep when the flames engulfed the home.

Both the children and their grandparents were thought to have perished in the flames. But after cadaver-sniffing dogs combed through the debris, only physical evidence remained of the grandparents, not the children. Multiple fire experts were called in to try to find some trace of the missing bodies in the ash, and investigators used infrared cameras attached to helicopters to scour the scene, but nothing turned up.

"The fact that we don't have sufficient evidence from fire investigators right now to positively conclude that they died in this fire, makes us want to make sure that they are not somewhere else," said Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Kristin Helm, adding that the alert has not been sent to other states.

"If we just had ashes, their little bodies, you know, but we don't have anything," said the children's aunt, Mary Lamb, Molli McClaran's sister.

According to Helm, the TBI has no direct evidence that the children, who were reportedly last seen near the home around 6:30 Sunday night, about three hours before the fire began, are victims of foul play.

Nor are there any persons of interest in the case, she said, adding that investigators are exploring all leads.

"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.

Former FBI Agent Brad Garrett said that in these types of cases, if the children are kidnapped, it is usually by someone they know.

"In most of these situations, statistically, children this age, over 90 percent of the time, are taken by their own parents or a close relative," he said.

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Normal Re: Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:45 pm

TBI Says Foul Play Not Suspected in Children's Disappearance

Posted: Sep 29, 2012 10:51 PM CDT
Updated: Sep 29, 2012 10:59 PM CDT

BEDFORD COUNTY, Tenn.- Investigators from across the state are on the lookout for two Bedford County children who were once presumed dead in a house fire. Twenty-four hours have now come and gone since law enforcement issued an amber alert and there have still been no signs of 9-year-old Chloie Leverette or her 7-year old brother, Gage Daniel.

This story has taken many twists and turns over the last six days, and now national media outlets are traveling to Tennessee to cover the story.

Saturday night the TBI said they do not think there is any foul play involved here, but since Chloie and Gage have been missing since Monday, they decided that an amber alert needed to be issued. The TBI also told NewsChannel 5 they won't be asking any other states to issue amber alerts because they simply have no evidence to show the two children were taken anywhere.

By phone Saturday, NewsChannel 5 spoke very briefly with Chloie and Gage's father. He didn't want to say much, but he did say he thinks he'll be hearing something from authorities very soon. He wouldn't elaborate on that statement. The TBI says they don't believe either of the children's parents are suspects in their disappearance.

Originally officials thought Chloie and Gage died in the fire that killed their grandparents on Monday.

But now the TBI does not think that's the case, which is why they've asked law enforcement agencies across the state to be looking out for Chloie and Gage.

If you have any information that could help authorities find Chloie or Gage, you're asked to call the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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If the parents did not take them, who did? I doubt they ran out of the burning home as they would have suffered smoke inhalation and would have been found. If there is no evidence they did not burn to death, IMO, someone set the home ablaze and took off with the kids. Maybe the parent's "hired" someone to do the above? This is a question, NOT an accusation. Would like to know the cause of this fire.

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Normal Re: Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Slys Hunny on Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:48 pm

I saw this and tried to post it yesterday but kept getting an error message. Its a tragic story. I had missed the part about the bones shinking to mere inches. Thanks for this Wrap
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Normal Re: Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:12 am

You're welcome, Sly's.

I doubt the TBI would issue an Amber Alert or be involved in this if they didn't have a VERY strong indication those little ones didn't burn to death in that house.

I do think this is an arson case or TBI would not be involved as well. my 2 cents

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Normal Re: Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:12 am

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Normal Re: Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:51 pm

Search continues for missing Tennessee kids

October 4, 2012 at 4:46

Raquel Erhard – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor
Unionville, TN, United States

– More than one week after the fire destroyed a Tennessee home that killed the grandparents of two missing kids, investigators are still looking for 9-year-old Chloie Leverette and 7-year-old Gage Daniel.

Authorities searched through the ashes and debris while helicopters equipped with infra-red cameras scanned the surrounding woods but found no signs of the two children.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has issued an Amber Alert Friday night stating that they are endangered children.

The kids were last seen playing in the neighborhood before the fire started on September 23.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of fire, which added to the mystery.

Police said that the parents are not considered suspects and are cooperating with the investigation.

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Normal Re: Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:23 am

Prayer Vigil Held for Missing Children

Posted: Oct 07, 2012 10:55 PM CDT
Updated: Oct 07, 2012 10:55 PM CDT

BEDFORD COUNTY, Tenn.- It has been nearly two weeks since a fire in Bedford County killed two people and left investigators asking what happened to two children.

Sunday night in Unionville, a crowd gathered in front of Chloie Leverette and Gage Daniel's former school for a prayer vigil. They haven't been seen since fire destroyed their home killing their grandparents. Those who came prayed for answers and patience while the investigation continues.

"The last couple of weeks have just been a trying time with the tragedy that's happened. Not knowing the answers to a lot of questions. And there's a lot of hurt in the community with the loss of the kids," said Ronnie Grooms, Pastor at Rover Baptist Church.

Investigators have combed the family's home looking for clues, but say they have no idea if the children were even in the fire. The TBI issued an Amber Alert last week but insist they have no evidence of foul play.

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Color me confused. If the children were not in the home when the fire burned it to the ground, where were they? How did this fire start? When was the last time the kids were seen?
The kids were last seen playing in the neighborhood before the fire started on September 23.
What time were the kids last seen????
The children were being raised by their grandparents. Why? TBI states the parents are cooperating Have the parents taken poly's? None of this makes any sense.

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Normal Re: Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:27 am

According to Helm, the TBI has no direct evidence that the children, who were reportedly last seen near the home around 6:30 Sunday night, about three hours before the fire began, are victims of foul play.
Am trying to backtrack here. Either the kids were Never in the house when the fire started and/or were "taken" by someone after 6:30PM.

I keep wondering if there is any way they were burnt so badly that even their teeth were torched. This case baffles me.

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Normal Re: Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:36 pm

ATF enters search for children in fire

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
By DAVID MELSON ~ [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Investigators aren't giving up hope of finding the ultimate fate of two children whose remains have not been recovered from a house fire near Rover two weeks ago.

"The TBI said on Tuesday or Wednesday the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives) will be coming in to sift through the ashes" at the Kingdom Road home in which the children lived with their grandparents, Sheriff Randall Boyce said Monday.

Leon "Bubba" McClaran and his wife, Molly McClaran, died in the Sept. 23 blaze. Their remains have been recovered and released to the family.

The ATF investigates violent crimes, including fires with a potential of being considered suspicious.

'Sighting' wasn't one

Several unspecified "leads" have been pursued by the TBI, officials said, but one hit closer to home Sunday afternoon.

A caller to Bedford County 911 reported two children she thought fit the description of Chloie Leverette, 9, and Gage Daniel, 7, at a Union Street convenience store.

The caller gave a description of the vehicle they were seen in and Shelbyville police pulled it over on Parker Road off Rabbit Branch Road.

Careful check

Three police officers stayed with the vehicle as the girl played in a nearby yard until a Bedford County deputy carrying photos of the children on his cell phone could arrive. The deputy quickly determined the children were not Chloie or Gage, Boyce said.

"The children in the car were with their mom and dad," Boyce said. "They looked nothing like those kids."

Boyce said his department has not received any similar calls.

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Normal Re: Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:26 pm

Searchers find only a 'few bones' at fire scene

Sunday, October 14, 2012
By DAVID MELSON ~ [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Another week of searching the remains of a Kingdom Road home in which two adults died and the fate of two children is undetermined turned up little evidence, Sheriff Randall Boyce said Friday.

A few bones were found by a team of 10 to 12 agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boyce said, but they were "unsure what the bones were." The ATF is a division of the U.S. Department of Treasury.

"They were packing up and leaving today," Boyce said.

Careful study
The agents spent the week going piece by piece through charred items and sifting through ashes. Representatives of various federal, state and local agencies and two university forensic departments have been painstakingly inspecting and re-inspecting the pile of rubble for three weeks since the Sept. 23 fire.

Chloie Leverette, 9, and her brother, Gage Daniel, 7, are thought to have been in the home in which they lived with their grandparents, Leon "Bubba" McClaran Sr. and wife Molly McClaran, who have been declared dead after partial remains were recovered.

No signs of the children have been found, leading the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to issue a regional Amber Alert. The TBI at one point said the children were not in the home but has also said they have no leads or evidence they were anywhere else.

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:40 pm

10:13 pm - November 01, 2012

Missing children case low on leads

Although the search for their remains has ended, investigators are still following up on leads in the search for two children missing from Bedford County.

Gage Daniel and Chloie Leverette were believed to have perished in a Sept. 23 Unionville fire — the same fire that claimed their grandparents. But after a week sifting through the rubble for their remains, state investigators and fire experts turned the scene over to family members Oct. 12, according to published reports.

The Shelbyville Times-Gazette reported that local authorities have received few leads as to the whereabouts of the two children, and the information they have gotten turned out to go nowhere.

The TBI issued AMBER Alerts for the children. They were last seen at their residence by a neighbor about 6:30 p.m. the day of the fire, the alert said.

Leverette is nine years old, 4 feet, 8 inches tall and 75 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair. Daniel is seven years old, 4 feet tall, weighs 50 pounds and hazel eyes and brown hair.

Investigators urged anyone to with information concerning the children to contact the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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Post by Wrapitup on Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:01 pm

Family offers reward on mysterious disappearance of Bedford kids

Posted: Nov 07, 2012 8:24 PM CST
Updated: Nov 7, 2012 08:25 PM

Chloie Leverette and her seven-year-old brother, Gage Daniel were presumed dead after their home was destroyed by a fire.

BEDFORD COUNTY, Tenn. -
A Middle Tennessee family is offering a $1,500 reward for information on the mysterious disappearance of two Bedford County children.

Chloie Leverette, 9, and Gage Daniels, 7, were first thought to have died in a house fire that claimed the lives of their grandparents Molly and Leon McClaran on September 23.

An Amber Alert was issued after investigators were unable to find their remains.

Donations to the reward fund can be made at Regions Bank in Eagleville or Shelbyville.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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Normal AP NewsBreak: Autopsies released in fatal fire; two missing children still sought

Post by raine1953 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:07 pm

NASHVILLE (AP) — The cause of death for a Bedford County couple found dead in a house fire nearly three months ago remains unknown as authorities continue to investigate the whereabouts of two children considered missing from the home.

According to autopsy reports obtained by The Associated Press, the cause and manner of death for 69-year-old Mollie McClaran and 72-year-old Leon “Bubba” McClaran could not be determined, although the remains were severely charred and soot was found in their airways.

The couple’s remains were recovered after a fire erupted at their home the evening of Sept. 23, but the grandchildren, 9-year-old Chloie Leverette and 7-year-old Gage Daniel, were never found after repeated searches of the rubble.

A statewide Amber Alert remains in effect for the children after investigators said they could not find evidence that the two died in the fire.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helm said the fire’s damage to the remains likely made it hard to determine for certain what killed the couple. According to the medical examiner’s report, both remains had to be identified by X-rays and DNA analysis.

“When someone is that badly burned, it’s difficult to determine a cause of death,” she said.

According to the autopsy reports, additional remains were found and later identified as a foot belonging to Mollie McClaran, as well as remains of two small animals. The autopsy also found thermal fractures of the skulls, ribs and bones of the arms and legs. Soot was found in the tracheas of both bodies.

Toxicology reports also were ordered for the couple. Mollie McClaran’s report said morphine and alprazolam, a drug used to treat anxiety, was found in her liver. Mary Lamb, the sister of Leon McClaran, said Mollie was being treated with the drugs because she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

“She had been diagnosed with breast cancer several years ago, and it had returned,” Lamb told The Associated Press on Monday.

TBI agents continue to follow up on leads and tips about the two children, but no active searches are ongoing, Helm said.

“The calls and leads tend to decrease as time passes,” she said. “We are getting very few.”

Lamb said she became concerned that the two children were not in the home when forensic evidence teams were unable to find any of their remains even after days of sifting and searching of the home.

“If those children were not in that fire, then my brother died fighting for them,” Lamb said. “I honestly believe that the two children were murdered.”

Lamb said donations are being collected at a local church for a reward for information about the children. She said she doesn’t want the public to forget about the ongoing investigation.

The family is planning a public event Dec. 22 at the site of the destroyed home.

“I don’t want Chloie and Gage to be forgotten,” she said. “Someone knows where those children are.”
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Normal Re: Fire destroys home of homeowners 72 yr old Leon 'Bubba' McClaren & 69 yr old wife Molly, Grandchildren 9 yr old Chloie Leverette and 7-yr old Gage Daniel not found in debris & considered missing/Cause of fire listed as unknown.

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:11 pm

Toxicology reports also were ordered for the couple. Mollie McClaran’s report said morphine and alprazolam, a drug used to treat anxiety, was found in her liver. Mary Lamb, the sister of Leon McClaran, said Mollie was being treated with the drugs because she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
I think it's pretty obvious that the couple burned to death. I am not trying to be sarcastic but really, if all they found were charred remains, that would be my guess. What I want to know is what LE Arson Specialists have to say on HOW this fire was started. Was poor Molly so f'd up on Morphine and Ativan that she fell asleep w/a lit cig or forgot to turn off a burner?

And still, no sign of the kids!! pulling hair

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Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:46 am

Reward increased for info on missing children

Sunday, January 20, 2013
T-G STAFF REPORT

The reward fund for information on the disappearance of two children after a house fire last year has been increased to $2,000.

The family of the late Leon and Mollie McClaran, along with friends and neighbors, have raised the reward for information on Chloie Leverette and Gage Daniel, last seen before a fire at the McClarans' Kingdom Road home on Sept. 23, 2012.

"While it was first thought the children perished in the fire, no remains were ever identified as belonging to the children and there remains hope that they may not have been in the house at the time of the fire," Bobby Maxwell, co-administrator of the fund along with Dean Felder, said in a press release Friday.

Information should be reported to 1-800-TBI FIND (1-800-824-3463).

Others can contribute through a memorial fund established in the children's name at Regions Bank in Shelbyville or Eagleville. Excess funds will be donated to the Tennessee Baptist Children's Home.

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Post by Wrapitup on Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:16 pm

Family continues search for kids missing after fire

9:12 PM, Feb 8, 2013

Five months after their disappearance, the family of two missing Tennessee children refuse to give up hope.

Relatives of 9-year-old Chloie Leverette and 7-year-old Gage Daniel say they're organizing a group to search the woods Saturday in hopes of finding clues.

In September, a fire destroyed the children's home in Unionville and killed their parents. The children were never found. An Amber alert for them remains active.

The TBI and experts did not find any evidence that the two children died in the fire.

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Post by Wrapitup on Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:32 pm

Billboard reminds public of Shelbyville Missing

Friday, January 10, 2014
By DAVID MELSON ~ [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

This billboard keeps the Bedford County missing in the public's eye, said Kristy Smelcer, sister of Bobby Smelcer.
(T-G Photo by David Melson)

A newly-posted billboard across the street from Shelbyville and Bedford County law enforcement headquarters is helping give hope to family members of five missing persons.
"We're looking for a killer," Sherry Meeks, brother of Leon McClaran Sr., who died with his wife Mollie in a September 2012 house fire near Rover, said Thursday. The bodies of Chloie Leverette and Gage Daniel, who were staying with their grandparents, have not been found.

"In our opinion they were murdered. That's how we feel," she said, standing with sisters Mary Lamb and Karen Smith.
Relatives of Chloie and Gage, Bobby Smelcer, whose skull was found in Duck River in April 2012 after he was reported missing in November 2010, and Antonio Taylor, last seen in 1999, gathered under the Lane Parkway billboard Thursday afternoon.

They shared hugs and hope at what Kristy Smelcer, Bobby's sister, termed a "visual" event. The billboard also includes Shelley Mook, a Shelbyville teacher last seen in February 2011.

No Mook family members were present, but Smelcer said she'd heard Tyler Mook was attempting to gain custody of his and Shelley's daughter at a hearing Thursday in Pennsylvania, where the girl has been staying with a grandparent.

A van belonging to a neighbor of the Mooks on Nashville Dirt Road was being processed by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's crime lab earlier this week, said a TBI spokesperson who did not release further details.

The families admit it's hard to not know the fate of their loved ones for so long -- but hope remains.

"Pray to God," Rochelle Adams, Taylor's mother, says when asked how she copes. "We just hope and pray that one day there will be some kind of closure."

Kristy Smelcer, an organizer of many of the events highlighting searches for the Bedford County missing, says "hope" gives her strength.

"The hope that we're going to get there -- find the rest of him and find out what happened, get resolution for my family," Smelcer said. "It's so different from death."

She's learned ways to cope since Bobby's disappearance in November 2011.

"At first it got the best of me," Smelcer said. "Now I've learned to balance it out. One thing that keeps me going is all the others that have gone missing."

Dog handlers from Bloodhound Search & Rescue of Clarksville attended the event. They say they've been working with area law enforcement in all the cases.
"We've worked all cases, even Antonio Taylor," dog handler Theresa Compton said. "We became involved in Bedford County right after Bobby went missing."

The group took part in 132 searches -- from missing persons to wanted criminals -- in the Middle Tennessee area last year, dog handler Lois Alexander said.

Those included at least seven in Bedford County including "three to four" searches for Smelcer, she said.

"In any search, clearing areas is as good as having an actual find as you close out the area," Alexander said. "You know they're not there."

Emotions felt by families of the missing are shared by searchers, Alexander said.

"The closure you bring the family is not one you can describe. It's euphoric," she said as she stroked Stozie, a Dutch shepherd.


Billboards, searches and special events are supported by the families to keep the missing in the mind of the public, they say.
"There are leads coming in," Smelcer said. "Every time we do a visual like this we get leads coming in.

"It keeps cases from becoming cold."

The billboard is funded by the Kristen Foundation for the Missing of Charlotte, N.C., which Smelcer says helps families of the missing across the country.

"Joan Scanlon-Petrouski (leader of the foundation) has never charged us a dime," Smelcer said. "Lamar Advertising gave us a huge discount on the billboard."

The Kristen Foundation is named for Kristen Modaffari, a Charlotte resident who disappeared while living and studying in San Francisco. Scanlon-Petrouski was a neighbor of Modaffari's parents. See kristenfoundation.org for more details.

"We are confident the dedicated efforts of each and every one of these victims' families, combined with the diligent efforts of state and local law enforcement, will produce the leads we so desperately need," Det. Sgt. Brian Crews of the Shelbyville Police Department said in a press release.

"We also ask the citizens of Bedford County to keep each of these victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers throughout the year."

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