Police patrolling an Oklahoma neighborhood early one Saturday morning came upon an unsettling scene that would put many parents on edge.
Tulsa police responded to a call from a neighbor about two children riding their bikes at 5 a.m., alone.
According to KJRH in Tulsa, when officers arrived to take the two young children to their home, they had to break down the front door to get inside.Screenshot/KJRH
In the house was a more-frightening scene.
Two other children were found inside the home, alone, and locked in their rooms.
As Fox 23 in Tulsa reports, a rope was tied to the door knobs of each door, and one room had a sliding glass door that had been barricaded with boards.
The home was sparsely furnished, there was no running water, and no parents to be found. The four children were all under the age of 11.
Cpl. Mark Kraft of the Tulsa Police Department told KJRH:
“We’re still trying to determine how long they had been there by themselves.”
Police eventually discovered the whereabouts of the parents, who were found living four miles down the road in another home — with four additional children.
Kraft told KJRH there remains a lot of unknowns about the case:
“It’s pretty weird. It’s pretty bizarre. There’s a lot of details we don’t know yet.”
KJRH reports the eight children were removed from their parents’ care and placed into the custody of another family member. They each appeared to be in good health, and the four children who were found alone in the separate home claimed they received regular meals.
Neighborhood residents, however, are not satisfied with the outcome.
As KFOR in Oklahoma City reports, members of the community are “stunned” that no arrests have been made.
When questioned why the parents in the case had been interviewed, Kraft claimed they had not “made contact” yet.
Police said they will likely recommend child neglect charges against the parents, and Kraft asserted that pictures of the house along with the children’s interviews would likely be used to press criminal charges.
Police are reportedly waiting for the state Department of Human Services to conduct an investigation before handing the case to the district attorney.