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Monday, Sep. 1, 2014

Fire scene searches for children end

Thursday, October 18, 2012

After weeks of painstakingly searching through rubble by hand, investigators have ended -- for the time being, at least -- attempts to find bodies or clues to the disappearances of two children feared dead in a Sept. 23 Kingdom Road house fire.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) spent last week closely inspecting the pile of debris for any signs of Chloie Leverette, 9 and Gage Daniel, 7, leaving with only a few bones -- which may not be human -- to be tested, Sheriff Randall Boyce said earlier this week.

Inspectors leave

ATF agents left Friday, Boyce said, and no additional searches or inspections are planned.

"We're still checking out leads," Boyce said, but none by any agency have proved fruitful.

The property has been turned back over to the family, the sheriff said. It is closed to the public, with flowers and wreaths left by the road at the entrance of a long driveway leading to the fire site.

Remains of Leon "Bubba" McClaran Sr., 72, and Mollie McClaran, 70, the grandparents with whom the children lived, were identified, although autopsy results have not yet been released, officials said.

Uncertainty

State Amber Alerts were issued for Leverette and Daniel after Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents found no traces of their bodies in the remains of the home or in nearby fields.

Investigators and family members have sent mixed signals, with some stating they feel the children were not in the home while others think they died in the fire.

No evidence of their survival has been found by any investigative agency, according to statements and press releases.