Body found in river may be that of missing Oklahoma child
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Police in Tulsa said Wednesday that a body found in a river in eastern Oklahoma was believed to be that of a 3-year-old girl who disappeared Friday with her younger brother, while the search expanded for the boy’s body.
Officer Jeanne Pierce said the body believed to be that of Miracle Crook was found Tuesday night in the Arkansas River about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Tulsa in Muskogee County.
“We don’t know 100% it was her. We’re waiting on the (medical examiner) for that. It most likely is her,” Pierce said.
The body was spotted in the river by an off-duty deputy, said Muskogee County Sheriff Chris Elliott. County emergency management officials recovered it.
Hopes of finding either child alive have faded, said Tulsa police Chief Wendell Franklin.
“I know that based on some of the evidence seen that we are moreso looking at a recovery operation as opposed to any type of rescue,” Franklin said.
Franklin said drones, helicopters and boats were being used to search creeks and rivers in Tulsa, while Muskogee County Emergency Management Director Heath Underwood said boats were scouring the Arkansas River.
Miracle and 2-year-old Tony Crook were last seen on security video walking alone outside their apartment complex toward a creek. The children were dressed only in diapers.
Heavy rains from Friday through Monday had swollen creeks and rivers in the area and resulted in swiftly flowing waters, said Pierce. The creek near the children’s home flows into the Verdigris River, which flows into the Arkansas River.
“We do have video of the kids going down the embankment holding hands together and never reappearing,” Franklin has said. “We are fairly confident that there was no other place for them to have come back up and survive.”
The children’s mother, Donisha Willis, 24, is jailed on charges of child neglect and assaulting a police officer. Jail records do not list an attorney for Willis.