2 Okla. Toddlers Vanished Last Week, and Police Believe They’ve Found Their Bodies
Tony and Miracle are seen on surveillance video holding hands as they walk down the embankment towards a creek
The two Oklahoma children reported missing last week are believed to have been found dead after being swept up in a creek while playing outside.
On Tuesday night, Tulsa police recovered the body of a young female in the Verdigris River, authorities announced at a press conference Wednesday. Police also announced that a second body belonging to a young male was found in Bird Creek. While the bodies have not yet been identified, authorities believe they are 3-year-old Miracle Lashay Crook and 2-year-old Tony Demone Crook.
The pair were reported missing Friday evening after they spent the morning with their mother, Donisha Willis. During their search, investigators obtained surveillance camera footage that showed the children playing in a grassy area along a creek behind their apartment complex.
The video then shows Tony and Miracle going down the embankment towards the water together, holding hands. Tony and Miracle are believed to have been swept up in the water.
The first body was located 45 miles away—traveling through about 100 miles of waterway before being found, authorities said. The second one was located closer to where the pair were reported missing in east Tulsa, traveling only about 15 miles of waterway.
In an interview with KTUL, the children's father said he doesn't blame Willis for their deaths.
"She was asleep. I don’t know what her problem was but she was sleeping and the kids went outside while she was asleep; that could have happened to anybody, you know what I’m saying?" Tony Crook said.
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Willis did not have custody of the children, who had been living with a relative. She was taken into police custody during the search. It's unclear if she is still in custody.
Police believe the children accessed the creek through an opening in a fence behind the complex. The opening has since become a memorial for the young brother and sister and now the community is calling into question why the fence had an opening at all.
Meanwhile, the children's family is mourning for their loved ones but appreciates the community's outpouring of support.
“It means a lot. They show that they care,” Christal McLemore, whose granddaughter was a sibling of the two children, told the Tulsa World. “The community really cares about them, and the support is really important right now. It’s been really hard; not a lot of sleep, not a lot to eat — just been out there looking for the babies.”