DeKalb County native and her friend charged in Jackson County toddler’s death


By: Dwayne Page

A DeKalb County native and former resident here and her friend have been charged in the Jackson County death of her toddler daughter.

Tessa Thomas, 26, was indicted Monday, August 17 by the Jackson County grand jury on a charge of aggravated child neglect, while Zach Dale, 33, was indicted on charges of felony murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.

Fourteen-month-old Reeves Thomas died days after being taken from her Jackson County home to a Nashville hospital in December 2019 with multiple injuries. An investigation determined Dale and Thomas were responsible, the bureau’s statement said.

Bond for Thomas is $100,000 while Dale was being held without bond.