The Walker County Sheriff's Office and the GBI are investigating the death of an 8-year-old boy whose body was found in the woods near his residence in Chickamauga Thursday evening, Oct. 3.
The child has been identified as Bentley Carter Robbins of Old Grand Center Road in Chickamauga.
According to Sheriff Steve Wilson, Robbins reportedly became quite ill and nauseated while at Chattanooga Valley Elementary School the morning of Oct. 3.
Shortly after arriving at school that day, he was dismissed from school at 10 a.m.
The body was discovered by the mother's boyfriend and the maternal grandmother on Thursday at around 8 p.m. in the 100 block of Old Grand Center Road. The body was located in a wooded area approximately 50 yards from the residence.
Wilson said a 911 call was made by a female after the discovery of the body.
The GBI Crime Lab Mobile Unit worked the scene until Friday morning,
For the latest details in this developing story, check back with us on our website at catoosawalkernews.com.
Oct. 4, at 2 a.m. Wilson said there was no obvious signs of trauma to the body and foul play is not suspected at this time, but certainly not ruled out.
There's no estimation on how long the body was at the scene, but he expects the autopsy will give a timeline as to the length, Wilson said.
Interviews are being conducted involving the adults and children who were connected to the deceased child.
The boy was a second-grader at Chattanooga Valley Elementary. The body of the child will be transported to the GBI crime lab in Decatur.
"We won't know what happened until the autopsy has been performed," Wilson said.
Healthy Foundations, the nonprofit group that was seeking a zoning change — from agricultural to special use — for a piece of Catoosa County property it was interested in as a location for a substance abuse rehabilitation center, withdrew its application on Sept. 19, before it even reached the zoning board hearing stage of the process.
"Some people think we did it because of the town hall meetings we held," says Healthy Foundations cofounder De-Laine Hunter, "but that was not the case. A handful of people were upset at those meetings, but most people have been supportive."
Hunter says the decision to withdraw the zoning request resulted from some confusion about a state law that would have dragged out the rezoning process. She said there was also a problem with an easement the group would need.
An applicable segment of Georgia code states that a substance abuse facility that is residential in nature must hold a public hearing and run a notice in the local newspaper at least six months before the rezoning issue is heard by the county Board of Commissioners. "We were unaware of that requirement," says Hunter, "and had to decide if we should move forward from there and be at a standstill for six months or if we should use that time to take a closer look at all our options."
Hunter says that Healthy Foundations is far more than
a detox and rehab center. "We are a family restoration program, a program to help veterans, a workforce hub that will teach job skills. We're looking at the possibility of splitting our programs up. We could start the restoration and job skills part of the program first. We could possibly have two different locations for Healthy Foundations. Our steering committee is considering all the options."
Hunter says that in spite of the town hall meetings where the uproar became serious enough that Sheriff Gary Sisk had to intervene, some good came from the meetings, too. "At the second meeting, we had asked people to submit questions on index cards. We didn't get to answer those questions at the meeting, but there were some good ones we'll be answering on our web site. We also got some very encouraging cards saying people were praying for our success."
In addition to the Healthy Foundations steering committee, Hunter says there is an advisory team working on developing programs the facility will offer, and a grass roots team working to inform the public and correct misconceptions.
Hunter says she is not yet sure what Healthy Foundations' next step will be. "We have not ruled out the original piece of property. A lot of people want this to happen in Catoosa County. We have addiction problems just like everywhere else in the country. In the end, we'll locate where God wants us to be. I feel Catoosa County is the right place and so do a lot of other people. We're not just trying to get people off drugs — we're teaching them and helping them become productive citizens, reuniting them with their families and restoring families to healthy relationships. We're working to make our community healthier socially, economically and spiritually."
Two people are dead following a domestic dispute that culminated in a murder-suicide Tuesday night, Oct. 1, on Clara Lee Drive in Rossville, police say.
According to Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk, the incident stemmed from a history of domestic issues between 51-year old Sharon Kathleen "Kitty" Kell and 51-year-old David Bryan White, which led to White fatally shooting Kell in her driveway before turning the gun on himself.
Sisk said Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 2) that the couple's turbulent history included protective orders from the court system and that White had been out of jail on bond.
"The victim and offender had a history of domestic issues with three court orders of protection dating back to at least September 2018," Sisk said.
Kell first filed for a protective order against White a year ago on Sept. 20, 2018, but filed for dismissal of the order less than a month later.
The second order lasted from Jan. 7 until Feb. 6 this year, and the most recent one was filed Aug. 27. White was arrested on warrants for terroristic threats and second-degree damage to property on Sept. 9, but was subsequently released from jail on bond the same day.
After being out of jail for the past 23 days, White wound up taking Kell's life and then his own.
According to the incident report, Cpl. Coby Cunningham and a deputy in training were dispatched to Kell's residence at 191 Clara Lee Drive just before 5 p.m. Tuesday afternoon due to a TPO (Temporary Protective Order) violation with dispatch advising that the offender possibly had a gun.
As the patrol car approached the residence, Cpl. Cunningham says he saw White standing over Kell in the driveway firing his gun at her body, reports show.
Shortly thereafter, backup officers arrived and ultimately found both the victim and the shooter dead.
"Additional officers arrived and approached the victim and found a female and male lying in the driveway deceased with gunshot wounds to their heads," Cpl. Cunningham stated in his report.
Additional records show that White moved out of the couple's residence in August after a fight that lead to the aforementioned third TPO.
During that Aug. 26 incident, witnesses at the home told deputies White destroyed property in the home while intoxicated and made threats to kill Kell.
According to the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office, the couple's turbulent history included three orders of protective filed by the victim, Sharon Kathleen "Kitty" Kell. The latest was served on Sept. 8. Here are the past incidents:
• Sept. 20, 2018 – Filed for family violence ex parte protective order
• Sept. 21, 2018 – Ex parte order served
• Oct. 17, 2018 – Filed for dismissal of ex parte order and dismissed
• Jan. 5, 2019 – Family violence report
• Jan. 7, 2019 – Filed for family violence protective order
• Feb. 6, 2019 – Filed for dismissal of ex parte order and dismissed
• Aug. 26, 2019 – Family violence report
• Aug. 27, 2019 – Filed for family violence protective order
• Aug. 27, 2019 – Warrants obtained for terroristic threats, criminal damage to property
• Sept. 8, 2019 – Arrested for warrants and served ex parte
• Sept. 8, 2019 – Bonded out of jail
• Oct. 1, 2019 – Murder-suicide
"He was packing his belongings into his truck and began making threats to kill her, stating he was going to slit her throat, and when she comes home he was going to 'end her'," a witness told Deputy Aaron Thomas.
Prior to that incident, Kell called police on White for false imprisonment after he allegedly held a gun to her head four different times and wouldn't let her leave on the night of Jan. 5.
In that incident, Kell claimed White threatened to kill her and shoot police if they showed up, reports show. Kell was eventually able to sneak away the following morning and notify police of the situation.
"This is the cycle of family violence that a number of families in our community go through that we need to continue to bring awareness to and offer assistance for every chance we get," Sisk said. "No one ever really knows what the victim goes through daily. It won't bring this mother, sister, daughter back, but this is an issue that needs constant discussion, awareness, and action. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family."