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Muskogee Police Arrest Two In Connection With 4-Year-Old's Death

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Pictures of  Betty J. Hall and Robert J. Meeks taken at the Muskogee County jail. Pictures of Betty J. Hall and Robert J. Meeks taken at the Muskogee County jail.

NewsOn6.com & Dan Bewley, News On 6

MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma – Muskogee Police arrested two people Monday in connection with the death of a four-year-old girl.

Police identify the two as 42-year-old Betty J. Hall, the girl's grandmother, and 22-year-old Robert J. Meeks.

Police say both Hall and Meeks were arrested after officers were called to a Muskogee hospital Sunday in reference to a sexual assault.  The four-year-old died after being transferred from a Muskogee hospital to a Tulsa hospital early Monday.

Meeks is being held on complaints of child abuse, first-degree rape and lewd acts to a minor child.  Hall is being held on complaints of failure to seek medical care for a child and failure to report child abuse.

Invesitigators said the abuse happened inside a home on Lawrence street.

Court records show Hall, the girl's grandmother, heard strange noises in the girl's bedroom early Saturday morning and noticed her son, Roberts Meeks II, acting suspicious. Hall told investigators she did nothing and went back to sleep.

Five hours later, she discovered the girl's diaper was only partially on. The affidavit said she noticed the girl appeared injured in the genital area.

The girl was taken to the hospital the next night.

Lieutenant Bobby Lee was one of the first investigators to see her in the hospital.

"In my 20 years in law enforcement down here, it is one of the more brutal sexual abuses I have ever seen," Lee said.

A man identifying himself as the child's grandfather arrived at the home late Tuesday morning. He wouldn't talk on camera and denied abuse ever happened.

"When I read it in the paper this morning it just made me sick at my stomach," Janine Goodwin, a neighbor, said.

Janine Goodwin lives behind the home. She said she never even knew there was a child living there and never saw the two suspects. She said the thought of what may have happened so close to her home is terrifying.

"It really is," she said. "Especially when you have lived here as long as I have and you've raised your kids and had your grandkids here."

Muskogee Police say the state Medical Examiner's office has not released an official cause of death, but investigators do not believe at this time that the death is a result of the alleged sexual assault.

Muskogee Police said more arrests may be possible.

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