An affidavit says DHS had received five calls about a baby who Tulsa Police said died as a result of neglect.
A warrant was issued Friday for the arrest of the baby's mother, Anna Hyden, on a child neglect charge. Her boyfriend, Kevin Crawford, is already in the Tulsa County jail on charges of child neglect, unlawful possession of a controlled drug – methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia.
DHS confirms it was called in July when the baby was born, in December, then last week when the baby died, but says two other calls were duplicates.
Police say the room where the baby was living the past three months was in a small crawl space in the top of a shed.
1/22/2016: Related Story: Tulsa Mom, Boyfriend Charged With Neglect In 6 Month Old's Death
Danielle Bishop, a Child Crisis detective for Tulsa Police, said, "The sleeping area is a pull down area on an attic and you can't even stand up in there and the baby was sleeping in a plywood box."
The affidavit says in December, the mother, Anna Hyden, admitted to her DHS worker Ladanna Miller that she snorts, shoots and smokes meth and sometimes did it in front of her child. Miller did not remove the baby but did create a safety plan while DHS investigated.
"They will find someone, a family member, friend or somebody to monitor any interaction between the child and the parents. And, in this case, the safety plan monitor was a friend of the mother's," Bishop said.
Police say Hyden took off with her son and disappeared two days later. The affidavit says, she told police Kevin Crawford disciplined the baby for crying by "taking away all of his freedom, so he'll submit." She said Crawford said he was teaching the baby a lesson.
She told them she left the baby with Crawford while she went to the store for cigarettes and when she returned three hours later, the baby wasn't breathing.
Police say we see too many of these cases because there aren't enough foster homes.
Danielle: "There's just no foster homes so kids are being left in safety plans with questionable people monitoring the safety of kids and it's place them in danger."
DHS says it could not confirm whether any other children have died while under the care of this caseworker but said they would do an extensive review of this case and all her cases.
Sheree Powell, Director, DHS Communications and Community Relations, released the following statement:
"First, let me express our sadness over the heartbreaking death of this baby. It is unfortunately a tragic story playing out in Oklahoma every day to people who are addicted to substances and who will not accept help. We are doing an extensive internal review of this case to determine everything that happened, as we would do following the death of any child in an open child welfare case.
I can tell you there were three referrals which were investigated on this case – the first in July at the time the baby was born, the second in December 2015 (which was the open case with the safety plan), and 3) in January reporting the child’s death. There were two other duplicate calls with the same information as those already being investigated. It should be noted that none of these referrals came from anyone residing at the property where the baby died.
You mentioned that someone is alleging this is the third child to die while on this same worker’s caseload. Without the names of the other two children, I cannot confirm for you today whether or not that information is accurate. It will take an extensive review of the entire worker’s caseload, past and present, to determine IF there were other child deaths and whether those deaths were caused by illness, accident or injury, or something related to the worker’s handling of the cases. We will be conducting this extensive review to determine those facts and will take appropriate action if warranted."