A Creek County couple was charged with child neglect after investigators said a 14-year-old girl with special needs had severe burns with bed bugs in her wounds.
"The school was having to change her clothes and launder her clothes at the school because they were so filthy," said Sapulpa police Major Mike Reed.
Sapulpa police said DHS has been called at least 19 times on Anna Aman and Joshua Pettitt before they were finally arrested. Investigators said when they visited the home, there were roaches and dog feces on the floor. Five children in Aman and Pettitt’s care were taken into state custody.
In late September, officers were called to Sapulpa Middle School to check on the welfare of a child. Teachers told investigators a non-verbal special needs student would come to school wearing dirty clothes, and court documents said teachers have needed to bathe her on multiple occasions before she could "participate in the school day."
"We do see a lot of cases with children quite often unfortunately but nothing involving a special needs child," Reed said.
Court Documents said the teachers contacted the teen's caretakers - Aman and Pettitt-- on several occasions about her condition, but nothing changed.
According to documents, the child had received burn injuries to her knees in March that required skin grafting.
Teachers then provided investigators photos of the burns in September that showed bugs were stuck to the wounds on her knees.
“They even asked if the child could come to school in shorts instead of pants because her burns were so bad that they were sticking to the wounds. She was in a lot of pain," Reed said.
Police said past DHS Investigations of Aman and Pettitt show a history of inadequate shelter and failure to protect. There was also another DHS report referencing possible sexual abuse, but DHS said that case was "unsubstantiated."
Reed said cases like this hit especially close to home for officers.
"Most of the officers have children of their own from varying ages. It’s tough to see it as much as we do - especially for a child who can't take care of them self," Reed said.
Aman and Pettitt bonded out within two hours after they were booked into jail.
Aman works for the city but is on leave.