2-year-old boy and father dead after being found in Tazewell Co. river

Published: Feb. 4, 2023 at 12:12 PM EST
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TAZEWELL Co., Va. (WDBJ) - The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal incident involving a two-year-old boy and his father.

Around 3:30 p.m. Friday, the Tazewell County 911 Center received a call from the mother of two-year-old Thomas Cochran, reporting Thomas’s father, Dakota Cochran, had stripped himself and the boy naked and taken the boy into the woods in the Moore Mountain Road area.

Deputies from the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, and Cedar Bluff Police department began searching the area. Thomas and Dakota Cochran were found in the river below the home; Mr. Cochran was dead. 2-year-old Thomas died after being taken to a hospital.

Major Harold Heatley, chief deputy of the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, says there are “rumors being floated around” about this matter, but it is still an active investigation.

“This is a tragic incident, our prayers are with the family and the amazing First Responders that did the best that they could do to save that child’s life. The staff at Carillon Tazewell Community Hospital fought desperately to also revive this child and should be commended for their efforts as well. Critical Incident debriefings will be held for all involved over the next few days in hopes of helping these first responders deal with this tragic incident.”, said Sheriff Brian Hieatt with the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office.