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Spike in Child Abuse Deaths in Tulsa

KTUL

A 21-year-old man is behind bars accused of child neglect after his fiancée's two-month-old was found dead inside an apartment on Monday night.

"It's sad. It's really sad," said Alicia Cochrane.

Cochrane who was babysitting at a nearby apartment was heartbroken after learning what happened.

"You have to be careful nowadays who let around your children whether you think you know them or not," Cochrane said.

Officers said the baby's mother was at work while her fiancé Joseph Bunnell was watching over the two- month-old infant and two other children under the ages of two.

Bunnell claims the baby fell off the couch, but according to his arrest report the bruising and scrapes on the baby's body were no accident.

Christine marsh with Family and Children's Services describes the recent spike in child abuse deaths as horrific.

"I think it means that we again are putting our children in the hands of people who are not fully equipped to be able to take care of our kids," said Marsh, Director of Child Abuse & Trauma Services.

We found out since December 2015 six children here in Tulsa have died as a result of child abuse or neglect. In all six cases police found a step-father, fiancée or boyfriend at fault. Mothers were arrested in three of the six cases.

Marsh hopes parents will learn from the staggering number of child deaths and understand there is help out there.

"She should call 911, she can call the health department and she can call Family and Children Services. She can ask for what other resources are out there for me," Marsh said.

For more information on where to get help visit the Family and Children's Services website.


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