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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma grandmother has been charged following the death of her granddaughter in Oklahoma City.
On June 21, Oklahoma City police were called to a home in the 600 block of S.W. 151st for a trouble unknown call.
When officers arrived at the scene, they made contact with a man who said he found his 3-year-old granddaughter inside a trash can in the backyard of the home.
According to the probable cause affidavit, officers looked inside the trash can and found the dead body of a young child in a state of decay.
The child’s grandfather told detectives that 60-year-old Becky Ann Vreeland told him that an accident had occurred and she found 3-year-old Riley Nolan in the trash can.
Vreeland claimed that she found Riley on June 18 but didn’t call police or report her death to anyone.
According to the affidavit, Vreeland claimed that she realized Riley wasn’t in her bed and soon realized the lid to the trash can outside was closed.
“Vreeland advised she had placed toys inside the trash can the night before and she had left the lid open,” the affidavit stated.
She told detectives that she saw a five-to six-foot tall ladder beside the trash can, which had not been there the night before.
“Vreeland advised she looked inside the trash can and saw Riley’s feet sticking out of the toys and Riley’s head was below the toys. Vreeland advised she felt Riley’s feet, she could tell Riley was not alive. Vreeland advised she left Riley in the trash can because she was so upset and she did not want to tell her son about Riley’s death, until he had been released from jail, and had been able to have Father’s Day with the other kids,” the affidavit stated.
However, two other children in the home told a different story.
One of the children told detectives that they saw Riley the next morning in her bed, but said she wouldn’t wake up.
“Both siblings advised they observed Riley to have a purple eye (bruise) on her forehead,” the affidavit stated.
During a preliminary exam of the victim, the medical examiner found three separate skull fractures on the victim that were “not consistent with a fall.”
On Monday, the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office released its complete findings on the autopsy.
The summary report states that the 3-year-old died from a blunt force injury to the head.
The report says the child suffered damage to the frontal, right side, and back of the head. Also, experts found a fracture of her skull that extended across the top of her skull.
Officials say they also noticed soft tissue contusions on her back.
As a result, her manner of death was ruled a homicide.
Vreeland has been charged with first-degree murder- child abuse.
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ME: 3-year-old Oklahoma child’s death ruled a homicide
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