Claremore Parents Arrested After Posting Picture Of Baby In Laundry Bag
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma - A Claremore mother and father were arrested for child abuse after a police officer said he saw a disturbing picture on a social media app.
Documents say that the Hominy police officer called authorities after his girlfriend received the picture through Snapchat.
"Officers got a hold of that picture, went to the address," said Deputy Chief Steve Cox with Claremore Police.
Claremore Police said the picture shows a baby in a mesh laundry bag that was tied in a knot, hanging from a door handle.
"That's horrible. I mean that's your baby, you're supposed to love and take care of your kids," resident and parent Ronna Melton said.
Court documents say the father admitted to placing the 9-month-old inside the bag and tying it to a door handle.
Officers arrested the parents - Paul Chuckluck and Johnnie Gaghins – on child abuse complaints.
"Child abuse is not always hitting - it could be placing your child in harm’s way. It could be the threat of harm," Cox said.
Court documents also say the mother took the picture and put it on Snapchat. The father said he didn't know she posted it.
Court documents also say that both parents told police they thought it was funny. Some people who live in the area disagree.
"It makes my heart hurt because these babies are innocent. The parents are supposed to protect them and take care of them,” Donna Decker said. "It’s not funny at all. It’s tragic."
"That's no way to treat a child. You’re supposed to love them," Melton said.
As the investigation continues, residents and law enforcement alike said those responsible need to be held accountable for their actions.
"Babies are not laundry, they're not trash to be taken out or put in bags. They're young people who need to know that they're cherished and loved," Decker said.
Chuckluck was also arrested on two warrants unrelated to child abuse.
Police said they’re not aware of any injuries to the baby.