AP NEWS

Wildlife refuge search underway for Oklahoma murder suspect

January 2, 2020 GMT
This July, 2017 photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections shows Christopher James Trent. On Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, authorities are searching an expansive wildlife refuge in southwest Oklahoma for Trent, a suspect in the death of a 2-year-old boy who was found unresponsive Wednesday, at a Norman, Okla., home. (Oklahoma Department of Corrections via AP)
This July, 2017 photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections shows Christopher James Trent. On Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, authorities are searching an expansive wildlife refuge in southwest Oklahoma for Trent, a suspect in the death of a 2-year-old boy who was found unresponsive Wednesday, at a Norman, Okla., home. (Oklahoma Department of Corrections via AP)

MEDICINE PARK, Okla. (AP) — Authorities searched an expansive wildlife refuge in southwest Oklahoma on Thursday for a suspect in a Norman toddler’s death.

Christopher James Trent, 28, is wanted in connection with the death of a 2-year-old boy who was found unresponsive Wednesday at a Norman home Trent shared with the toddler’s mother, Norman police said in a statement.

The toddler, who was pronounced dead at a local hospital, had been in Trent’s care and showed signs of physical trauma, police said. Trent was not at the home when police arrived, and an arrest warrant was issued overnight for Trent on a first-degree murder complaint, police said.

Trent’s pickup was discovered late Wednesday in Medicine Park, Oklahoma, and authorities believe he may have fled on foot to the nearby 60,000-acre Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley told The Associated Press.

“This individual has been in the refuge before,” Stradley said. “We’re waiting now for an airplane or a drone to come in and help guide us with our search of the area.”

The rugged and rocky mixed-grass prairie is home to thousands of bison, elk and longhorn cattle.