An abandoned baby case in Tulsa takes a strange twist when investigators find the baby's father murdered

Friday, March 18th 2005, 8:39 am
By: News On 6

A murder mystery takes a strange twist. The twist is the victim's 5 month old baby was found abandoned in a pickup truck in east Tulsa about a half hour before his body was found shot to death in a Tulsa County field.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says Tulsa County Sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant Friday afternoon at the victim's home, looking for clues.

Someone set a little girl in the back of a pickup at the Polo Club Apartments at 12817 East 40th Street early Friday and left her, she could've been there for six hours or more. A man going to work heard her crying and called Tulsa Police.

She wasn't belted into her car seat, but she was wearing full length pajamas and had two blankets. Still, police officers were stunned. Tulsa Police Cpl Mark Shelton: "Initially, it makes you angry that someone would leave a baby and not at least knock on a door, and then you think maybe it was just carelessness and that makes you even angrier."

The baby was found about 5:30 AM, about a half hour later, a person walking their dog found the body of a man in his mid-20's in a field near 7400 North Pittsburg. The man had been shot to death.

Tulsa County Sheriff’s deputies say that man was Richard Beggs, the baby's father. They believe perhaps Beggs and the baby were kidnapped and the suspects killed him and abandoned her. Tulsa Police Sgt Whitney Allen with the Child Crisis Unit: "We feel very fortunate that this child is unharmed. It seems like they placed it in an area where it would be found, but, we are very fortunate she is unharmed."

Deputies went to Beggs' house Friday afternoon, where they found the front door kicked in and the side door left standing ajar. They got a search warrant to go inside and look for evidence.

They say even though Beggs had been associated with the Green Team gang in the past, they thought his murder was more likely drug or robbery related.

The Tulsa County Sheriff's office says the five month old girl's mother is currently in the Tulsa County jail. The baby's grandmother, who would be the dead man's mother, is currently in prison.

The little girl was placed into protective custody and doing just fine. Deputies say she does have other family in this area.