A mother is in jail after sheriff's deputies investigating a child in need of supervision found that child staying in what they call unlivable conditions in her west Tulsa home Wednesday.
They arrested Amanda Griffin, 31, along with two men who were in her home in the 5600 block of West 3rd. One of the men is a convicted sex offender.
"Deputies say the smell was absolutely atrocious," said Maj. Shannon Clark.
Clark said Tulsa County deputies walked into the home to find dog feces on the floor, the smell of urine and rotten food, and dirty clothes everywhere.
"These conditions were below standards that any human should live in, let alone a child," he said.
The deputy reported that while he was talking with Griffin, Griffin's 7-year-old son arrived home from school. The boy was taken into protective custody, and his mother was arrested for complaints of child neglect.
Phillip Hicks was arrested for failure to register as a sex offender in Oklahoma. He told deputies he had been staying with Griffin for more than a week.
Larry Priebe was taken into custody for an outstanding warrant.
The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office says, along with the living conditions, they couldn't find any food inside the home, just things like ketchup and mustard inside the refrigerator. They also say, when they spoke with Griffin, she appeared to be highly intoxicated.
At the Tulsa County jail, the arrest report states, Griffin "had to be carried into booking."
"They elect to buy that and use that money on alcohol, and not feed or take care of their kids properly," Clark said.
Records show Griffin's bond on the child neglect complaint was $50,000 with a court appearance set for September 12.
Christine Marsh said Family and Children's Services assists in more than 500 cases a year. Roughly 70 percent are neglect cases.
Marsh said there are signs that neglect is occurring, other than the obvious signs, like injuries or asking for help.
"Maybe they are falling asleep in class, maybe their clothes aren't appropriate for the weather," Marsh said.
She said other signs include any dramatic change in behavior or sleep patterns, or avoiding certain people or areas. Deciding to step in may be a tough call, but Marsh said it can be a child's only outlet for help.
"They may be the only person that's been able to make this report, or it could be that they have been the third or fourth person, and it might take a number of times for some of these families to be referred to DHS," Marsh said.
We asked Maj. Clark if we're seeing an increase in child neglect cases. He said they tend to see an increase around the start of school, when teachers suspect child neglect.
If you suspect a child is being neglected or abused, call Oklahoma's DHS Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-522-3511.