Sheriff: Carter Co. toddler found dead with thumbtack in windpipe

John Thompson • Jan 17, 2012 at 10:48 AM

ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County Sheriff’s Department has been investigating the death of a toddler found dead at his residence on Thursday afternoon.

The child was identified as Keaton Wayne Oliver Jacobs, who would have turned 2 on March 11. Mathes said the preliminary autopsy indicated a thumbtack had become lodged in the child’s windpipe.

Mathes said the case was especially troubling because the child’s caretakers failed to look in on the child for several hours before finding the child lying on the floor and unresponsive. Mathes said another concern was that “the living conditions were deplorable.”

Sgt. Michael Bean responded to a call about a child in cardiac arrest at 103 Panhandle Road at 1 p.m. When he arrived, he talked with the responders from the Carter County Rescue Squad, who said the child was dead on their arrival and had been dead for several hours.

Bean then spoke with Ricki Leigh Oliver, who said she had put the child to bed at 11 p.m. Wednesday. The father of the child, Kenneth Wayne Jacobs Jr., got off work at 1 a.m. and arrived home at 1:30 a.m. They said they went to bed around 5 a.m. and did not check on the child until approximately 1 p.m.

When Oliver went to get the child so he could eat, she told Bean she found the boy lying beside a toy box, face up, and unresponsive.

Mathes said the investigation of the incident was continuing.


An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated certain time elements.

Recommended for You

    Johnson City Press Videos