Skeletal remains of child found; 2 suspects arrested in Roane County

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KINGSTON, Tenn. (WATE) –  Skeletal remains of what appeared to be that of a child are being examined by multiple agencies and two suspects are in custody as part of an ongoing investigation into a child abuse and neglect case in Roane County.

According to the District Attorney General Russell Johnson and the Roane County Sheriff’s Office, the two suspects, Michael Anthony Gray, Sr., 63, and Shirley Gray, 60, were arrested on charges including especially aggravated kidnapping, child abuse, aggravated child neglect and abuse of a corpse – with further charges anticipated.

The skeletal remains were examined Sunday, May 24 by officials with the Knox County Regional Forensics Center; as well as with the current or future involvement from the University of Tennessee Anthropology Department and the Roane County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Three children were also interviewed Sunday by officials; with the Gray family coming to law enforcement’s attention via DCS on Friday evening. Because of the nature of the case, no further details concerning the three minors were shared by the DA’s office.

The DA’s office said Monday the investigation into the review of the evidence may likely add charges relative to the dead child.

Both Gray defendants will be arraigned before Roane County General Sessions Judge Terry Stevens on Tuesday, May 26 at 1:00 p.m. at the Roane County Courthouse, most likely via video link to the Roane County Jail due to COVID-19 restrictions. Bond will be set at that time. Both subjects are in custody in the jail pending the arraignment and the setting of bond.

The Ninth District Attorney General’s Office emphasizes that, “even though arrests of the two named individuals have been made, there is still more to be done. District Attorney General Russell Johnson stated that he does anticipate further charges and that ‘there is still more forensic evidence to be analyzed by the investigators and forensics experts which will still need to be reviewed by the prosecutors.’”

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