A woman has been arrested in connection with the death of her 3-year-old granddaughter in Oklahoma.
Becky Ann Vreeland, 60, was taken into custody for murder after the body of Riley Lynn Nolan was found in a trash can, according to local station KFOR. ChildHelp reports that “the United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations – losing an average of 5 children every day to abuse and neglect.
The station reports that around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night, officers were called to an Oklahoma City residence to a report of a dead toddler, approximately 2 to 3 years old. Once at the scene, officers discovered Nolan’s body, with obvious signs of trauma, according to a police statement.
Following the discovery by officers, Vreeland was questioned. After her interview with the police, Vreeland was arrested and placed in prison for complaints of child abuse and first degree murder.
Nolan had been in Vreeland’s custody lately, according to police.
A woman has been arrested for the death of her granddaughter after the body was found in a dumpster in Oklahoma City. Photo shows a police car in Santa Fe, New Mexico on July 27, 2017.
Robert Alexandre/Getty Images
Police have not released any further details about the case. But in response to Newsweekthe Oklahoma City Police Department mentioned that “the investigation is still ongoing and active” and that they are “waiting to interview family members”.
Officers also pointed out that given the “highly traumatic” nature of the case, “investigators are allowing them to grieve before questioning them.”
It’s unclear at this time how long Vreeland would spend in jail if convicted.
However, in a somewhat similar case in Arizona, prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a grandmother and her husband, Stephanie Davis and Thomas Desharnais. The couple face a number of charges, including first-degree murder and child abuse in the death of Davis’ 11-year-old grandson, according to AZ Central.
The outlet reports that in January, officers were called to a hotel room to report an unresponsive person. Once at the scene, the 11-year-old was found unconscious and not breathing in a bathtub. The child was rushed to hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
On the child’s body, emergency medical personnel found cuts and bruises on the child’s body. Similar marks were also found on the body of the dead child’s half-brother, according to the outlet. Both children were in the care and supervision of Davis and Desharnais.
Investigators later revealed that both children had been starved and severely abused with metal tools.
Following the indictment of the two, the county attorney said in a statement that “it is our responsibility to protect and care for the most vulnerable in society, and that includes children,” according to AZ Central.
In another tragic story, a man who allegedly beat his 5-year-old stepson to death and buried his body in a shallow grave has been arrested by police.
Sergei Bugorkov, 28, even persuaded the boy’s mother to stage a fake disappearance to cover up the death of her son, Vova Pashschenko, police say.
And a baby girl’s aunt and legal guardian has been arrested for allegedly killing the 3-year-old after months of abuse, Maryland police say.
A Good Samaritan, however, may have saved a child’s life after noticing the family was acting strangely. She noticed that the child was separated from his family and deprived of food while they ate.
She sent him a handwritten note and called the police.
If you think a child might be in danger, ChildHelp, the national child abuse hotline, can provide resources at childhelphotline.org. If you think someone is in imminent danger, call 911.
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