Police: Mother Of Emaciated, Burned & Bruised Tulsa Child Arrested
TULSA, Oklahoma - A child is in the hospital after police say his mother severely abused him.
Police said the boy went straight to the hospital from urgent care.
Officers said the mom told them the only reason she took him there was because she was being evicted and could no longer hide his injuries.
"I don't know what kind of person could do that to a child, to be honest with you. It's pretty intense all by itself," said Neighbor Nick Teague.
A Westside Tulsa neighborhood is broken.
“If I would have realized it I would have probably gone to jail for fighting, I would fight over somebody else’s kid," said neighbor Jaquila Meeks.
Tulsa police arrested the mother Thursday night.
Police said Mikell Wortham admitted to punishing her 4-year-old son by burning him with hot water.
"He had bruises all over his whole body. He had burn scars on his face from burns inflicted by the mother that were never treated," said Tulsa Police Corporal Mark Kraft.
Just 4 years old, police said the little boy weighed only 27 pounds.
Because the injuries are so severe, police said the child could be scarred for the rest of his life.
"This is probably one of the worse neglect and abuse cases we've seen in a while," said Kraft.
Neighbors claim the child abuse has been ongoing.
"I could hear her kid screaming through the apartment. Her whooping him, him telling her to stop. Her screaming her head off saying 'Keep it down!’," neighbor Malia Factor said.
What happened has left many appalled.
"I didn't even know a kid lived up there. I could hear him. I've heard him scream and cry, but as for seeing him, I've never seen him a day in my life. I couldn’t tell you what he looks like, to be honest. That tells you how often she took him out," said neighbor Nick Teague.
Neighbors said they tried to help the boy, but felt helpless.
"I don’t' think she's a good mom. I did report her to DHS and they wanted proof too, so there's nothing I could do to save the kid or any of that," Factor said.
Police said Wortham admitted not knowing how to love or discipline her child appropriately.
She's in jail on child abuse and neglect complaints.