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Arrests of 2 on child abuse charges prompts search in rural Oklahoma for infant's body
TULSA, Okla. (AP) ' Authorities were searching a rural Oklahoma property for the body of a baby girl Friday after two people were arrested on multiple child abuse charges and one of nine children taken into protective custody told officials her father helped her deliver a baby at home, then buried it.
Leflore County District Attorney Jeff Smith said investigators were looking for a body at the property outside of Poteau, but declined to comment further on the details of the case.
"This appears to be a very serious matter and could possibly be a very complicated manner," Smith said.
An application for exhumation of a body filed Tuesday by Smith's office alleges that one of nine siblings taken into emergency custody by the state because of "extreme physical and educational neglect" told investigators of alleged sexual abuse of herself and her younger sister by the girls' father.
The Associated Press does not generally identify the victims of alleged sexual abuse.
One of the siblings also told police she had a baby at home in August 2010, delivered by her father. The girl told authorities that she thought a boy she met at camp may have been the father, according to the exhumation request.
She told authorities that the child did not cry and that her father told her it was dead and buried the baby on the property "in the woods behind the goat pen." The property being searched by authorities is located in a heavily-wooded swath of eastern Oklahoma and lies adjacent to an open field.
The exhumation report also said that records in Oklahoma indicated that neither the child's birth nor death was reported to the state, as is required.