Police: Tulsa Couple Lock Child In Bedroom While They Steal

Wednesday, May 14th 2014, 6:15 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa couple is in jail, accused of locking their 6-year-old daughter in her bedroom, while they went out to commit crimes.

Police say it's bad enough when these parents leave the girl locked up for a few hours, but, recently, they got arrested in Coweta and were gone overnight. Police say they never told anybody she was there all alone, locked in her room, afraid, with no bathroom and no way to get help. Anything could have happened.

Coweta police recently arrested Brandee Washburn and her boyfriend Franklin Walker for stealing a big screen TV from the Walmart store there. When officers asked Brandee if she had children, they say she told them yes, but said her daughter was staying with relatives.

Police say they didn't know at the time, that was a lie. So no one found out until the next day, the little 6-year-old girl was locked inside her bedroom inside a second story apartment in East Tulsa.

"She knows she's left home alone. Especially, recently, with all the apartment fires, it could've been a horrible situation, a fatal situation. She's in there alone, nobody knows, and there's no way for her to get out," said Detective Danielle Bishop, Tulsa Police Department Child Crisis.

Police took a picture of the lock on the outside of the girl's door. They say the house was filthy. There was no food in the fridge, and it reeked of urine.

"We ask generic questions in neglect cases: 'what happens you're hungry, who makes dinner?'" Bishop said.

"We asked what happens if you need to use the bathroom, and she said she had to pee her pants because she couldn't get out of her room."

Police say Washburn and Walker admitted leaving the girl locked in her room sometimes at night and also when they go steal big ticket items from Walmart then return those same items at another Walmart store for cash. That is what happened when they got arrested in Coweta.

Rather than tell police about the girl so she could be helped, police say the couple thought only about themselves and lied for fear they would get into more trouble.

"We're seeing more and more completely selfish, unfit to be parents, people who think only of themselves and what they want, and the kids are a burden they have," said Tulsa Child Crisis Detective Danielle Bishop.

The couple remains in the Wagoner County jail tonight for the theft of the TV, but, will then be brought to Tulsa to face a child neglect charge.

The girl is in DHS custody. Police say both parents admitted they stole to support their meth habits and pay their bills.