A 60-year-old woman has been arrested after the body of her three-year-old granddaughter was found in a rubbish bin outside her home.
Grandmother Becky Ann Vreeland has been charged with first-degree murder and child neglect and is currently being held at Cleveland County Jail.
Following a panic-stricken 911 call from inside the house, police rushed to the woman’s home in Oklahoma City, where two other children were also present.
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There they found three-year-old Riley Nolan’s body in a rubbish bin, although it is unclear how the child died.
Master Sergeant Gary Knight told reporters: “Officers found clear signs of trauma to the child’s body. The child had been dead for a period of time at least. It hadn’t just happened.”
Vreeland, who had been looking after the little girl, was questioned by police before her arrest.
Alarmed residents were surprised to see their area turned into a crime scene.
Next-door neighbour Marsha Brannum said: “I wish I had paid more attention. I don’t understand it because she seemed like a very hardworking grandmother, and I could hear her play with the children in the backyard.”
Brannum revealed she had been speaking with Vreeland just a few days ago.
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“It’s just overwhelming,” she added. “I see my grandchildren and I’m always telling them ‘don’t be so friendly, you can’t trust anybody’,” she said.
Fellow resident Jack Cribbs told KFOR: “It’s shocking that something like this is going on. Just, what? 200 yards away?
“I keep them in my prayers. I didn’t really know the people. I hate to see anything like that happen to any child, or even anybody.”
KFOR reported police did not disclose whether the grandmother confessed to any involvement in the girl’s death and the investigation is still in the early stages.