3 children found locked inside U-Haul truck on I-40, troopers say

3 children found locked inside U-Haul truck on I-40, troopers say

CREDIT: Cocke County, Tennessee -- (left to right) Wille, Green, Lekiza Robinson-Williams, Eric Larue

COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. — An arrest has been made after a bystander noticed several small children getting locked into the back of a white U-Haul box truck.

The truck was located on I-40 near the Welcome Center in Cocke County, Tennessee.

While the trooper was approaching the scene, he noticed a U-Haul truck pass on westbound I-40.

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The trooper pulled the truck over and asked the driver, 36-year-old Eric Larue, if anyone was in the back of the box truck.

Larue admitted that people were inside the back of the truck. The trooper noticed three small children, ages 1, 5, and 8-years-old in the back of the truck.

The Department of Children's Services (DCS) was notified and opened the investigation.

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The temperature was 92 degrees when officers recovered the children from the truck.

A strong odor of drugs was also detected coming from inside the front of the truck. The passenger gave the troopers a small amount of weed.

A probable cause search led troopers to find crystal meth, cocaine, and additional drug paraphernalia.

Lakiza Williams, 40, from Hendersonville North Carolina was charged with three counts child endangerment, two counts possession of a schedule 2 and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Larue, also from Hendersonville, was charged with three counts child endangerment, no license law, lane law violation, seat belt violation, children not restrained violation and registration not carried.

Willie Green Jr., 40, also from Hendersonville, was charged three counts child endangerment and possession of a schedule 6.

All three were booked into the Cocke County jail.