TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma’s medical examiner identified the bodies of two children found dead in local waterways this week as Miracle and Tony Crook, the two toddlers police had been searching for since May 22.
The state medical examiner identified the bodies of Miracle and Tony Crook were those found in local waterways earlier in the week.
Miracle, 3, was found in the Verdigris River and Tony, 2, was found in Bird Creek.
Tulsa police and the Tulsa County district attorney held news conference Friday to go over the case and talk about what comes next:
Petition formed to close fence where toddlers walked through
Members of the Tulsa community are now asking for the city of Tulsa to place a fence near the creek where the two children were last seen on surveillance footage.
You can sign the petition here.
The city released this statement on the fencing:
“This fence was built in the 1980s by the Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Tulsa is responsible for the upkeep of the fence after it was constructed by the Corps. At this time, there are no plans to close the emergency exits due to sudden, unexpected surges in the water level that can occur. As with any body of water, children should be accompanied by an adult as levels of water can surge at any time. Creeks, channels, ponds, inlets, streets, pipes, and other infrastructure are not safe for children or adults during storms. Please note, we have 15 miles of creek as part of this system and it is fenced in the areas where the approaches are steep – in this tragic case, there were fences up and stairs from the waterway to allow for a safe escape route in the event of a surge.”
Bodies found in Tulsa creek and Verdigris River
Tulsa police confirm a young male body was found in Bird Creek in north Tulsa Wednesday evening.
Tulsa police went to Muskogee early Wednesday morning after the body of a child was found in the Verdigris River just outside of Wagoner County.
We streamed the press conference with updates on the FOX23 News app
The bodies were later identified as the two toddlers police had been looking for.
Tulsa police say the body is that of a young girl but the medical examiner will identify her.
A makeshift memorial at Mingo Creek Wednesday morning brought some people together to pray for the children and family.
Shift to “Recovery Efforts”
In a press conference Tuesday, police officials said they had new video footage of the two children holding hands, playing alone near an embankment on the west side of the Shoreline apartment complex and never reappearing.
Police believe the children found a gap in the fence on the property. The fence led to steps that led into the Mingo Valley Creek.
Chief Wendell Franklin said search efforts would become recovery efforts.
Miracle Lashay Crook, 3, and Tony Demone Crook, 2, were last seen by their mother Donisha Willis on Friday in the area of 2200 S 96th E Ave, police said.
Chief Wendell Franklin warned citizens not to search the water themselves.
Tulsa police and rescue crews searched for the children and looked for help with getting more information about where they may have been.
Officers searched cars and homes at Shoreline Apartments on Monday and Tuesday in an effort to find clues as to where they might be.
Monday, police said they did find the children on a surveillance camera in the apartment complex at 10:15 am Friday, walking alone. They would be reported missing later that Friday.
Tulsa Chief of Police talks missing children
On Sunday afternoon, Chief Wendell Franklin with the Tulsa Police Department briefed media at the Shoreline Apartments on the search for the two children and said they had exhausted every lead.
Franklin said Willis, who does not have legal custody, had not been forthcoming with the investigation.
On Sunday morning, police released a security camera photo of the children at a nearby store when they were with Willis.
Mother arrested, indifferent to case in police reports
Police booked Donisha Willis into the Tulsa County jail for child endangerment -- however, Willis does not have legal guardianship over the children.
Police said when they tried talking to Willis, she refused to talk and said “they [kids] don’t even matter,” according to a police report.
Lt. John Adams with the Tulsa Police Department said the department canvassed the area and reviewed surveillance video.
Why wasn’t there an Amber Alert?
“[We] haven’t called this an Amber Alert yet, because we don’t have enough to call this an abduction, we are pushing it as far as we can because we know the kids are in danger,” Adams said Saturday.
“Our hope is someone saw them and took them in, and just hasn’t gotten around to calling police.”
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