Boy believed to be dead as Okla. couple arrested for allegedly beating, starving kids
02/15/2023 1:33 pm PST
TULSA, Okla. (TCD) -- Police are investigating a case of suspected child abuse and homicide after a woman called to report her grandson had been missing for "several years" and was likely dead, and that her granddaughter had reportedly been abused.
According to the Tulsa Police Department, on Jan. 27, the grandmother informed police about her missing grandson and said her 13-year-old granddaughter had been living with her since September after her daughter, Chanel Lewis, left the teen with her. The 13-year-old was reportedly "skin and bones from malnourishment."
Lewis reportedly told her mother her 11-year-son was dead.
Tulsa Police said Child Crisis Detectives spoke with the 13-year-old, and she reportedly detailed physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her mother and stepfather, John Miles. Lewis and Miles allegedly locked the girl and her brother in "separate closets for days at a time" without food. Then, Miles and Lewis reportedly beat the children with belts and cords. The girl reportedly said she used bags and cups as a toilet.
According to Tulsa Police, the girl said she and her brother started getting abused in November 2020, and it ended in September 2022 when she moved in with her grandmother.
Miles reportedly offered to give the girl food "in exchange for sexual favors."
The girl and her brother reportedly sometimes slept in an "igloo-style doghouse" in their backyard and were forced to exercise in cold weather.
In March 2021, the girl allegedly heard Lewis crying and "begging her brother to wake up."
Lewis reportedly told the girl her brother had a seizure and died and they "did not take him to the hospital because they did not want to be in trouble."
The girl reportedly learned in August 2021 that Miles and another family member buried the boy in a park, but then Miles allegedly went back and unearthed the body, burned it in a barrel, and "discarded the ashes in a drainage system."
Police arrested Lewis on Feb. 7. She reportedly admitted she abused her children and gave her daughter scars on her body. She also allegedly said her son had run away two years ago and had not been seen since then. Miles was arrested the next day, and they are both in custody on charges of child abuse by injury and child neglect.
Tulsa Police said they are investigating the case as a homicide, but the boy’s remains have not yet been found. Charges could change as the investigation continues.
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