Grandmother Wants Custody of Grandchildren Following Alleged Child Abuse In Piedmont

A grandmother is desperate to get custody of her grandchildren following the arrest of their adoptive mother. Police say the five children were found starving inside their Piedmont home. 

Thursday, April 4th 2024, 4:53 pm

By: News 9, Deanne Stein


A grandmother is desperate to get custody of her grandchildren following the arrest of their adoptive mother. 

Police say the five children were found starving inside their Piedmont home, located at Northwest 7th Street and Jackson Boulevard. 

Tina Ramirez was arrested and remains behind bars at the Canadian County Jail on multiple felony charges of child neglect and child abuse.

Shelly Yates says she is the biological grandmother of the five children who are currently in her care.

Yates says she still can’t believe the alleged horrors her five grandchildren, ages 14 and under, endured. “I was completely devastated,” Yates said. “They trusted her to take care of them and she failed them.”

Police say they discovered the abuse after the 14-year-old girl ran away and told police she did not want to go home and was afraid of her mother. A police report shows the officer noted the girl was "the size of a first grader" whose "skin appeared to hang on her bones," and "weighed around 60 pounds."

An affidavit shows Ramirez failed to provide adequate food. Court documents also uncovered physical abuse including “excessively striking with a belt” her eight and 9-year-old sons, “striking, kicking and choking” her 14-year-old daughter as well as restraining her in a closet for multiple days, and tasing her abdomen.

“I don't see how an adult can find it in their heart to sit there and do those types of things to a child,” Yates said.

Ramirez denies she physically abused the children, who Yates says were placed with her on an emergency basis. “They looked fragile, very, very thin,” Yates said. “They’re sick and trying to build up their strength.”

She said the kids are slowly gaining weight and are excited to go to school. “I feel like they are adjusting quite well,” Yates said. “To them, you couldn’t tell, they’re happy.”

Yates said the children were adopted by Ramirez sometime after her daughter, Kayla Yates, lost them to a drug addiction. Yates said she was dealing with her own problems and wasn’t able to step in at the time. She said her daughter was trying to turn her life around and wanted to be reunited with her children. But Yates said her daughter was murdered in 2022 on Valentine’s Day.

Related story: Police Identify Suspect In NW OKC Valentine's Day Double Homicide

“I’m not trying to justify my daughter’s behavior or my behavior, we all come with a past,” Yates said. “All I can do is pick up for today, I have to try my best for them.”

Yates said she is working with DHS and hopes to become their permanent guardian. “My goal is to help them on their healing journey because they have so much trauma that they have to heal from,” Yates said. “I hope and pray I’m going to be their forever home.”

Ramirez is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on April 12. Her husband, Anthony Ibeziako is also charged in the case. He bonded out of jail.


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