Six years later, mom believes children thought dead in Bedford County fire are still alive
BEDFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WZTV) —
Six years ago, investigators feared a fire in Bedford County had resulted in the death of two grandparents and their two grandchildren. Six years later, the children are still missing after their remains were never found. Their mother believes they are still alive.
In 2012, Bubba and Molli McClaren had just gone to bed when their house caught fire. With so many possessions stuffed inside the home, it burned hot and quickly. Fire investigators later recovered their remains along with their dog and pet bird.
However, Chloie Leverette and Gage Daniel, the two children believed to be in the home at the time, were never accounted for. Despite days of searching, the search crew never found their remains.
Six years later, there are new age progression photos of what the kids might look like now. The TBI issued an amber alert for them because they simply do not know what happened to the children. Their mother is vowing to keep looking.
"I believe someone took them from the house, and in order for that to happen, something had to happen to my parents because they did not find anything of either one of my children in the fire," said Cheryl Daniel who now lives in Chattanooga. The family has sold the land where the blaze occurred.
Gage and Chloie either died in the fire or were never there. Each hypothesis yields an outcome as sad as the next. If Gage and Chloie were in the house at the time of the fire, it burned so hot that it disentegrated their bodies. Cremations occur at around 1500 degrees, but fire experts say it is unlikely the house got that hot.
"From time to time, we'll get tips, they're vetted, and none to this point have proved helpful in trying to provide closure to this case," said Josh Devine, spokesperson for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. "This is absolutely a mystery. Fundamentally, we just don't know what happened here."
The age progression photos have given Cheryl Daniel new hope of new tips.
"I just feel that they are still out there. When it first happened, I had a mother's intuition that they were not dead," Daniel said. "I'm worried. I am scared. I let the anger go because it was doing nothing but eating me inside."
Investigator have no idea what started the fire, but Bubba's sister Mary thinks someone murdered he and his wife, set the house on fire and took Gage and Chloie.
"First they went in and set the house on fire. My brother and sister in law I believe were murdered, and then they took the children and we've not seen them since," Lamb said.
Until her children are found, Cheryl Daniel feels like she only has one option: just keep searching.