Tulsa police are investigating the death of a baby boy in a west Tulsa apartment.
The child’s parents say it was an accident; however detectives are not so sure. It happened at the Sandy Park apartments early Thursday morning.
The medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death, but police say the condition of the child’s body raises some questions.
The original story from the parents was that they found the child on the floor next to his crib. Although anything is possible, detectives say the baby would only have fallen about two and a half feet since the railing was down on the crib, and that should not have caused the child to die.
Neighbor Kendrick Petty knows how to take care of children. He has five of his own including newborn twins. He also looked after his neighbor’s children when their mother would run errands. So, news of this baby boy’s death he used to watch hit him hard.
"It's just unbelievable and I never thought I would wake up to something like this hearing about a baby that you know died and stuff,” he says.
Police were called to the apartment complex around 6:30 Thursday morning after paramedics found an infant dead. Both police and paramedics say his death is suspicious.
"We don't normally see falls from a couch or a crib that would cause a rather instantaneous death,” says Child Crisis Detective, Cpl. Greg Smith.
"I don't believe that and it makes me really sad. I almost started to cry myself. How could something like that happen,” says neighbor, Sasha Rusco.
“There are some marks on the child that caused concern from the officers,” says Smith.
Records show the baby boy had discoloration and bruising on his shoulders, back, neck and ear.
While the child’s death could have been accidental, Child Crisis detectives say it’s important to always be watchful for signs of child abuse.
First, look for changes in the child’s behavior. Also, don’t ignore bruises in unusual places. Bruises on elbows, knees or shins would typically not be a cause for concern.
If you have reason to suspect child abuse, report it to the Department of Human Services or simply call 911. It’s the law.