Daycare workers describe Lenoir City boy as 'energetic' and 'a sweetheart'

Young King Brown was found dead in an overnight stabbing.
Young King Brown was found dead in an overnight stabbing.(WVLT)
Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 6:30 PM EDT
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The community is reacting with shock and grief to the death of a 3-year-old boy in Lenoir City. Investigators say King Brown was stabbed to death and have accused his mother in the crime.

Lenoir City Police Chief Don White said Brown's own mother, 38-year-old Melani Sue Brown, is the suspect in the boy's death early Wednesday morning, and that charges are expected soon.

WVLT News spoke to workers at an area daycare. They said King used to stay there and are in disbelief that the sweet, funny boy they used to care for will never return.

Kari' Burton runs Young at Heart Learning Academy at Maryville and Lenoir City locations where King received care. "King was energetic, he was hyper. But he's a sweetheart. You know he kept you on your toes, but he was almost like a little comedian." She said workers are grieving.

Burton said she always did what she could to help any child in need, including King, "I noticed one time his shoes were too little. I bought him some shoes."

After King's death at home, the Department of Children's Services said it has opened an investigation into the case. During a press briefing the morning of King's death, Police Chief White said he had no details about specific reports to DCS, but said, "We know that there were several DCS referrals over the past 3 years."

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