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Okmulgee Foster Child's Death Investigated As Homicide

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Kyra was moved to Okmulgee four months ago after her first foster mother was arrested fraudulently trying to obtain prescription drugs. Kyra was moved to Okmulgee four months ago after her first foster mother was arrested fraudulently trying to obtain prescription drugs.
Kyra Zubah died of a head injury while living in this Okmulgee foster care home. No arrests have been made, but Okmulgee deputies say her death is a homicide. Kyra Zubah died of a head injury while living in this Okmulgee foster care home. No arrests have been made, but Okmulgee deputies say her death is a homicide.
The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 requires Indian children to be placed in foster or adoptive homes that reflect Indian culture. The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 requires Indian children to be placed in foster or adoptive homes that reflect Indian culture.

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

OKMULGEE, OK -- No arrests have been made in the death of a three-year-old Okmulgee girl. The Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office says that Kyra Zubah died after suffering a head injury while in Creek tribal foster care.

Kyra Zubah was originally put into foster care in 2006, when she was just 11 weeks old, after her biological father, Timothy Zubah, was arrested and charged with child abuse.

On July 3rd of this year, court records show Kyra's foster mother, Christine Atchison, was arrested for fraudulently trying to obtain prescription drugs. Kyra and her baby sister were removed from Atchison's home four days later.

The girls were placed into the tribal foster home of Sharon Whitecloud who lives near Okmulgee.

Related Story 11/12/09: Three-Year-Old Dies In Okmulgee Foster Home's Care

The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 requires Indian children to be placed in foster or adoptive homes that reflect Indian culture.

“In all cases, both biological parents have to be in agreement in order to transfer from the state to the tribal side,” said Thompson Gouge of the Muscogee Creek Nation.

Authorities say last Friday, Kyra suffered a head injury but was not taken to Saint Francis Hospital until Saturday. She was on life support but died Tuesday. The state medical examiner says it was due to blunt head trauma.

“I am just praying that I never have to hear that somebody tried to hurt her. I want to believe that it was an accident,” said Alyson Atchison, Christine's sister.

“I don't know what happened, because humans make a lot of mistakes. I just hate that Kyra was the cost.”

The details of how Kyra received the injury have not been released by the Okmulgee County Sheriff's office, but her death is being investigated as a homicide. The Creek Nation says they cannot comment on specific cases.

“Due to the federal state and tribal laws, we're not able to comment on this issue - or any cases going on with juveniles,” Gouge said.

But Kyra's former foster family says everyone is devastated by the little girl's death.

“I hate to focus on the anger or the mistakes that were made in her life because her heart was too huge to focus on any of that,” Alyson said.

Atchison's family is working with Kyra's biological family on funeral arrangements 

No arrests have been made in the death of a three-year-old Okmulgee girl. The Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office says that Kyra Zubah died after suffering a head injury while in Creek tribal foster care.

Kyra Zubah was originally put into foster care in 2006, when she was just 11 weeks old, after her biological father, Timothy Zubah, was arrested and charged with child abuse.

On July 3rd of this year, court records show Kyra's foster mother, Christine Atchison, was arrested for fraudulently trying to obtain prescription drugs. Kyra and her baby sister were removed from Atchison's home four days later.

The girls were placed into the tribal foster home of Sharon Whitecloud who lives near Okmulgee.

The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 requires Indian children to be placed in foster or adoptive homes that reflect Indian culture.

“In all cases, both biological parents have to be in agreement in order to transfer from the state to the tribal side,” said Thompson Gouge of the Muscogee Creek Nation.

Authorities say last Friday, Kyra suffered a head injury but was not taken to Saint Francis Hospital until Saturday. She was on life support but died Tuesday. The state medical examiner says it was due to blunt head trauma.

“I am just praying that I never have to hear that somebody tried to hurt her. I want to believe that it was an accident,” said Alyson, part of Kyra’s former foster family.

“I don't know what happened, because humans make a lot of mistakes. I just hate that Kyra was the cost.”

The details of how Kyra received the injury have not been released by the Okmulgee County Sheriff's office, but her death is being investigated as a homicide. The Creek Nation says they cannot comment on specific cases.

“Due to the federal state and tribal laws, we're not able to comment on this issue - or any cases going on with juveniles,” Gouge said.

 But Kyra's former foster family says everyone is devastated by the little girl's death.

“I hate to focus on the anger or the mistakes that were made in her life because her heart was too huge to focus on any of that,” Alyson said.

Atchison's family is working with Kyra's biological family on funeral arrangements

 

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