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Eastern Arkansas Task Force Officers Recognized for Saving Toddler’s Life


By Jeremy Hammons, Eastern District of Arkansas

This is a place holder for subtitle.

For immediate release

Task Force Officers Receiving Awards

Arkansas law enforcement officers were dispatched following a report of a possible deceased person in a roadside area near Interstate 440 in North Little Rock on February 13, 2024. A commercial truck driver had alerted an Arkansas Highway Police officer to a deceased woman wrapped inside a blanket he had noticed from the on-ramp.

Arkansas state troopers, along with North Little Rock patrol officers, had also arrived at the scene and discovered a child’s car seat further down the hill. Beside it were what appeared to be the lifeless bodies of two children; a 2-month-old infant and a 16-month-old toddler.

North Little Rock Police Department homicide detectives were called to the scene to investigate. Detective Michael Gibbons, who is also a Task Force Officer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and Detective Cody Brown, a Task Force Officer with the U.S. Marshals Service Eastern Arkansas Fugitive Task Force, responded.

Before beginning their initial crime scene walk-through, Brown contacted Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) and requested they respond to the location to give an official medical assessment of the victims.

While examining the bodies of the two children for possible evidence, Gibbons believed he saw the toddler move and immediately called out for Brown to come assist. Brown ran down the hillside, picked up the child and began lifesaving measures.

Recognizing that the child was possibly hypothermic due to exposure, Brown immediately removed his own sweatshirt and wrapped it around the child’s body to rewarm him. Brown and other officers then began to try to open the toddler’s airway as he appeared to be having difficulty breathing. Brown administered back thrusts and rescue breaths as he continued warming the child and trying to revive him. The toddler slowly began to regain consciousness as MEMS arrived on scene, and he was transported to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in critical condition.

North Little Rock Police later named 43-year-old Willie Leon Mott Jr. as a person of interest in the murders of 27-year-old Teangela Tate and her infant son Noel Tate. That same evening, the U.S. Marshals Eastern Arkansas Fugitive Task Force began searching for Mott on unrelated charges and within hours, located him at a residence in Jacksonville and took him into custody without incident.

Police later learned Mott and Tate had been in a relationship and lived together in Jacksonville and that Mott was the infant’s father. Mott was charged with two counts of capital murder and one count of attempted capital murder.

In a ceremony in the U.S. Marshals task force office in Little Rock March 8, Brown (left photo in green T-shirt) and Gibbons (right photo, holding plaque) were each presented district lifesaving awards by acting U.S. Marshal Cory Harris, acting Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Terry Bumann, and North Little Rock Police Chief Patrick Thessing.

During the next several weeks, Brown and Gibbons would visit the child in the hospital. 

On March 26, the boy was discharged and living with his grandmother.

Task Force officers Gibbons Brown

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at


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