DNA analysis confirmed late Thursday that two bodies found in waterways in and near Tulsa, Oklahoma, this week were those of two toddlers who had been missing since last Friday, Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said.
Miracle Crook, 2, and her brother Tony Crook, 1, were last seen in surveillance video playing on an embankment at Mingo Creek, near the east Tulsa apartment complex where their mother, Donisha Willis, lives.
Miracle’s body was found Tuesday night in the Verdigris River, about 100 miles away by winding waterways from the Shoreline apartment complex, as CrimeOnline previously reported. On Wednesday, searchers found Tony’s body in Bird Creek, near where Mingo Creek flows into it. From there, Bird Creek meanders its way to the Verdigris River.
“We found video of them going down the embankment toward the creek,” Franklin said. “When they didn’t come back up from that embankment, we knew what we were dealing with.”
Franklin said the children were apparently swept away in the waters of Mingo Creek and drowned.
Willis, who police said was uncooperative throughout the investigation, was arrested on Sunday and charged with child endangerment and assaulting an officer. Franklin said that officers found Willis passed out on her couch, with her front door open. When they questioned her about the children’s whereabouts, she became abusive toward the officers and said she “didn’t care,” KJRH reported.
According to her booking report, Willis was on probation and did not have custody of the children. The report said that the children’s caretaker them them with Willis Friday morning and returned that evening with their legal guardian to find Willis intoxicated and passed out on the couch, with the children nowhere to be seen.
The investigation turned up video from a nearby convenience store showing the children with Willis, then video from the apartment complex showing them walking down the street alone from a couple hours later. Franklin said that searchers began focusing on the water when initial reports turned up no leads.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said more charges may follow for Willis. A decision to file additional charges is never taken lightly, he said, “and it will be no different in this case.”
“It’s the duty of the DA’s office to set aside the obvious emotions and do the job for which we were hired to do,” he said.
Franklin said the resolution of this case was a sad one, but still he was “happy to bring closure.”
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[Feature Photo: Tony and Miracle Crook/Police Handout]