Man charged with child abuse murder following toddler death

By: Sara Whaley

Updated:

TULSA, Okla. - Quick facts:

  • Police responded to a south Tulsa home Tuesday after the death of a Tulsa child.
  • Police said other children live in the home, and the mother and her boyfriend were taken in for questioning.
  • Police have said the death is suspicious.
  • They arrested Branden Taylor for child abuse.

The Tulsa County DA charged Branden Taylor with child abuse murder for the death of his stepson.

Tulsa police arrested him last week. They said they received a call around 2 p.m. Tuesday near 91st and Delaware.

BREAKING: Tulsa Co. DA has filed child abuse murder charges against stepfather Branden Taylor in last week's death of 2yo Michael Rigney. Gathering more details now for FOX23 News starting at 5.

Posted by FOX23 Sara Whaley on Tuesday, February 23, 2016

They are trying to learn what led to the two-year-old boy's death.

Police said EMSA found the toddler dead when they arrived.

They said the mother, who called 911, and her husband were home when the event happened. They were brought in for questioning. The two said they did not do anything wrong to the child.

Police had been called to the house in January for a welfare check of the the children, but their report said the conditions seemed to be fine.

Neighbors said they are in a state of shock after the death.

Police said as many as six other children live in the home. They are now with relatives and friends.

A search warrant has been issued for the home. They are relying on that evidence and a medical examiner's report to continue the investigation.

Police arrested Branden Taylor, the child's stepfather, on one count of child abuse. He was later charged with child abuse murder.

Police said Taylor noted that the child was "out cold" and he did not try to find medical assistance for the child.

They said family members have alleged drug use in the home, but police did not find evidence of drugs on the day of the toddler's death.

They said the home was cluttered, but police did not consider it dangerous for the child.

Police said two children lived at the home full-time. The other child has been placed with another family member during the investigation.

Next Up: