Former Tulsa Foster Parents Arrested After Kids Found In Filthy Home

Tuesday, October 22nd 2013, 3:55 pm

Tulsa Police arrested two former foster parents Monday for child neglect, after finding their house infested with roaches, bed bugs and lice, for the second time.

They took their four foster children away in July and took three other children away Monday.

Tulsa Police said it's not the first time Robert McElvain, 35, and Felecia Polk, 25, had children living in filth.

TPD's Child Crisis Unit searched the house in the 6200 block of North Main Street Monday and found it was infested with bugs.

With the couple in handcuffs, police took pictures of the trashed out house, with roaches climbing the cabinets.

"We couldn't imagine what the inside looked like, because the outside was so bad," said the couple's neighbor, Catherine.

She said she didn't like the broken windows and the yard littered with trash.

"The kids didn't look too healthy to us when they walked to school. The same dingy clothes and the man always had the same clothes on, so he didn't wash up too much either," Catherine said.

Police removed three children related to Polk and arrested the couple for neglect.

As bad as conditions were in the second house, police say things were worse where the couple lived in July. The foster children were taken away because of the conditions there. Police say there were even more roaches and bed bugs and lice.

Polk got her biological kids back on the condition that she moved out of there and into a home that was clean when she moved in.

The 900-square-foot house where the couple lived with all seven children was full of bugs, according to police. DHS called them for help after no one would let caseworkers in to check on the children.

"The kids had bug bites, there was rotting food everywhere, the smell was terrible, trash, it was just unlivable," said Cpl. Greg Smith.

That was enough to take away the foster children, but the biological children went back to live in another house, where the same situation quickly developed.

"We're trying to intervene before it gets to the situation it was in July," Smith said.

Their investigation led detectives to another apartment Monday, where officers described a trash and bug-filled home with a 2-year-old inside, who was taken into state custody.

DHS reports the couple were foster parents to relatives starting in July 2012 and fostered the four unrelated children for just two months.

Polk and McElvain were booked into the Tulsa County jail on complaints of child neglect. They are each being held on $50,000 bond.