Tulsa Mother Facing Child Neglect Charges Didn't Realize Baby Was Dead For Hours
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa mother is in jail after her 5-week old baby was found dead in an apartment near North Peoria and Apache.
Denise Jones, 26, is facing felony child neglect charges. According to investigators, Jones said she left the baby in her bassinet at 2:30 Saturday morning and didn't realize the newborn was dead until 11:00 that night.
Teresa Irvin said she's known Jones for close to four years and said she's in shock.
"I just know this is totally out of sorts for her and her character," Irvin said. "My heart is just so broken."
According to court documents, Jones admitted to police that she'd "spent a good portion of the day asleep in the apartment due to consuming liquor and smoking marijuana." She says she checked the baby around noon and said the newborn appeared to be sleeping.
According to the report, she didn't pick the child up, change the child's diaper or feed the child. It wasn't until that night that she went to the child and found her cold and stiff in the bassinet.
Irvin said it’s something she can't wrap her mind around.
"I remember her saying that she wanted to be a mom, and I know she is a good mom. I know she is a good mom,” she said.
Irvin said Jones has two other young daughters who always appeared to be well cared for. She said she fears Jones may have fallen on hard times and encourages anyone struggling as a parent to ask for help.
"If you need help, find a friend. I know everybody, sometimes they don't feel like they have friends, but there's always that one person that you can reach out to," she said.
Investigators don't know what caused the child's death and said the baby had no visible injuries.
Jones could face more charges depending on what the autopsy finds.
Police said Jones' two other daughters are now in DHS custody.