Mannford Police Serves Search Warrant to DHS

Tuesday, September 24th 2019, 6:12 pm
By: Amy Kauffman

Mannford Police serve a search warrant to DHS, looking for records to see when the agency knew of abuse allegations at a Mannford Nursing Home.

Related Story: Mannford Nursing Home Workers Accused Of Patient Abuse 

Mannford Police believe DHS was told four months before police were notified and officers believe that abuse continued and could've been stopped much earlier.

Mannford Police filed a search warrant for DHS's computers because a tip was sent on their abuse hotline back in May, but police didn't find out about it until September, now they want DHS to be held accountable.

"These are somebody’s grandma or grandpa, mother or father that had to endure this abuse when it could’ve been stopped earlier,” said Mannford Police Chief Lucky Miller.

Mannford Police Chief Lucky Miller says an anonymous tip came into HIS department on September 5th, saying some elderly residents were being abused by a caretaker at the Cimarron Pointe Care Center in Mannford.

Related Story: Mannford Nursing Home Workers Accused Of 'Sick And Sadistic' Elder Abuse 

Officers had Senite Smith in custody that same day and arrested Blake McLellan and John Rose two weeks later. They also believe a fourth person was involved and are waiting on the arrest warrant for that individual.

Related Story: Mannford Police Make 2 More Arrests In Elder Abuse Case 

Chief Miller says the abuse was reported to DHS back in May, but police weren’t contacted then.

"Had DHS took the ball and ran with it or contacted us to start an investigation when they found out about the abuse, some of the abuse wouldn’t have occurred,” said Chief Miller.

Mannford Police learned someone called the statewide abuse hotline on May 16th and an email was sent on May 20th. Most of the tips go through the main DHS office in Oklahoma City. Officers want to see if the tips ever went anywhere from there.

“Who opened the email initially, who took the initial phone call and where did that information go after contact was made with DHS,” said Chief Miller.

Mannford Police served a search warrant for the Office of Management and Enterprise services, which is the building that houses DHS's Computer servers in Oklahoma City.

At the same time, a second search warrant was served at the Creek County DHS office in Sapulpa.

"You knew about it, why didn’t you do something about it,” said Chief Miller. “Those families need closure not only on the information that was occurring to their loved ones but why nothing was done sooner.”

When asked about the search warrants, DHS told us, "This is an ongoing investigation and it would be inappropriate for DHS to comment."

They said they are cooperating with law enforcement.

Previously, Adult Protective Services told us, they’re not required to report abuse allegations to police, just to turn over their investigation to the DA's office.