Grandmother Charged with Murder After Girl, 3, Found Dead in Trash Can

Becky Ann Vreeland has been charged with first-degree murder and neglect. "The child had been dead for a period of time," an officer reportedly said

Becky Vreeland
Photo: Cleveland County Jail

An Oklahoma grandmother is facing a murder charge after her 3-year-old granddaughter was found dead in a trash can.

According to a press release from the Oklahoma City Police Department, officers arrived at the home of Becky Ann Vreeland, 60, on Tuesday afternoon.

"Upon arrival, officers were told there was a deceased child at the residence," the press release states. "Officers found the body of three-year-old Riley Nolan in a residential trash receptacle at the home. The child had obvious signs of trauma to her body."

Authorities are investigating when Riley was placed into the trash. "The child had been dead for a period of time at least," MSgt. Gary Knight tells KFOR-TV. "It hadn't just happened,"

Vreeland, who had recently taken custody of the child, was arrested at the scene.

PEOPLE confirms through online records that Vreeland has been charged with first-degree murder and child neglect. She is being held without bond. She has not yet entered a plea, and online records do not reflect an attorney authorized to speak on her behalf.

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News of the child's death has devastated Vreeland's neighborhood.

The next door neighbor, Marsha Brannum, told KFOR-TV that she wished she had done more to help the situation.

"I could have been some more assistance for her if she was having trouble," Brannum told the station. "That kind of shocks me. I don't understand it because she seemed like a very hardworking grandmother, and I could hear her play with the children in the backyard. I wish I had paid more attention."

Authorities are still investigating the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Oklahoma City Homicide Tip-Line at (405) 297-1200.

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