A dad and step-mother of a girl with Down syndrome have been arrested after police discovered alarming cases of suspected child neglect regarding the girls health and medical care.
According to police reports, School Resource Officer Sgt. Mike Sole was requested at Sapulpa Middle School concerning the welfare of a 14-year-old girl. When Sole arrived at the school, he was met by one of the teachers who explained the situation:
In March of 2019, the girl received burn injuries to both knees that required specialized hospital treatment. Sole says that the injuries reportedly required skin grafting.
Sole was presented with documentation from as far back as November 14th expressing concern for the poor hygiene and suspected lack of medical care by her caretakers. In the documentation, she and other teachers show that they had to give the girl a shower and clean clothing before she could participate during the day. According to the report, this became so routine it became an almost daily occurrence. The reporting teacher also said she had to keep the girl’s backpack in a plastic tote with a lid to help contain the bugs that would crawl out of her belongings.
As the teacher was giving her statement, she also provided digital images showing that not only were the girl’s burn injuries not healing, but also showed “bugs stuck to the seeping wounds, and what was described as ‘dirty, filthy, smelly clothes,'” according to the report.
The statement shows how the girl would come to school with her legs not properly cared for, nor wrapped properly. She would be wearing long pants, which stuck to the wounds and would be reopened when the girl had to be cleaned or go to the bathroom.
Sapulpa Police Detective Mark Swafford says he visited with 30-year-old Anna Aman, who was listed as one of the caretakers for the injured girl. Aman admitted that the girl has not had health insurance or seen her primary care physician since at least March of 2019. Aman said she knew that she needed to schedule a doctor appointment for the girl, and and have an exterminator called about the bugs, and that the home needed to be cleaned.
On October 21st, Swafford said the girl’s father, 36-year-old Joshua Pettitt, came in for a voluntary interview, where he admitted that the girl didn’t have health insurance, and that he and Aman were responsible for this girl and four other juvenile children living in the home.
According to the report, Swafford says he received notice that this family has been investigated by DHS in at least three separate counties, including investigations into inadequate shelter and failure to protect. There was one statement for April 5th referencing possible sexual abuse. That case was investigated by DHS and found to be “unsubstantiated.”
Both Pettitt and Aman were placed under arrested under child abuse and willful neglect charges. They were released in less than an hour and a half.