Medical examiner to determine cause of child's death

The state medical examiner will determine the cause of the Saturday death of a 2-year-old Manchester boy.

According to Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves, deputies were notified Saturday afternoon by the Medical Center of Manchester that Gavin Pierce Demarest, 2, was dead on arrival in the emergency room. He was the son of Raheen and Loraine Sizemore Demarest.

According to a report by Deputy Brian Allen, the childís father stated that Gavin and other children had been playing outside before the arrival of a rainstorm. He said the little boy and other children had "been running in and out of the house" before the rain started and when it did they ran into the house.

The father told the deputy that after about five minutes he noticed Gavin was not with the other children and began questioning them, but all said they didnít know where he was.

Demarest then stated he went outside and discovered the child had gotten into the familyís 2002 Pontiac and had buckled himself into his car seat.

He told the deputy that his son was able to buckle the main buckle but was not strong enough to unbuckle it.

He also said when he found his son he was "having difficulty" breathing, according to the deputyís report.

Also, according to the report, the parents drove Gavin to the hospital instead of waiting on an ambulance. On the way to the hospital, Gavin stopped breathing and the mother attempted to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Upon arrival at the hospital the medical staff attempted to revive Gavin with no success.

Investigator Bill Marcom, who has been the investigator assigned to the case, requested that an autopsy be performed to determine the cause of the childís death. The police report did not state what the temperature was inside the car.

Gavin was born on July 19, 2007, in Murfreesboro.

His family described him as "a happy little boy" who loved watching his favorite cartoons, enjoyed playing with toy cars and spending time with his brothers and sisters.

The family will receive visitors from 11 a.m. today, May 19, until time for the funeral at 1 p.m. at Coffee County Funeral Chapel. Burial will be in Rose Hill Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been set up at American City Bank in Manchester in Gavinís name. To make a donation contact the bank.

by Wayne Thomas