MIDWEST CITY — Police had been to a home in recent months where a young mother was found dead Wednesday morning, Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes said.
The woman, whose name has not been released, was found dead in the home after an anonymous caller dialed 911 about 10:30 a.m. and reported seeing children in the street outside a home at 933 Locust Lane.
When officers arrived, they found a 2-year-old girl and her 4-year-old brother wearing pajamas in the front yard.
When asked by officers where their parents were, one of the children told police “Mommy is asleep” in the house.
Police said the woman had obvious trauma to her body, but he did not give specifics about the nature of her injuries. The woman was in her mid-20s, police said.
Clabes said police had been to the home before, though he did not specify the nature of those calls. Clabes did confirm that a van had caught on fire in the home's driveway this past summer.
Neighbor Joan Williams said her son called police to report the children in the street.
“He saw them playing in the street and was concerned,” Williams said.
Williams said she didn't know the woman who was found dead in the home but had seen her at times over the last several months.
“It's kind of scary not knowing what was going on, a lot of us around here know each other, but we didn't know this family,” Williams said.
“Last year, they had quite a few problems with police coming and beating on their door. Some of the neighbor children said a body was found there last summer.”
Clabes said he had no immediate knowledge of a body found at the home last summer.
‘She was nice'
Neighbor Ricky Burgess, 25, said he first learned of the woman's body being found after television trucks showed up in the neighborhood.
Burgess said he had seen the woman and her children several times.
“Their cat got out, and my girlfriend brought it back over to their house,” he said. “I never met her, but my girlfriend said she was nice.”
Burgess said he had seen police cars at the home over the last six months. Burgess said he had seen a man who he believed was her boyfriend at the home in the past, but not in recent months.
“He hasn't been around in awhile,” Burgess said.
‘A big surprise'
Bruce Martin, 50, lives next door to the home where the woman was found. He said he did not know her. Martin has lived in the neighborhood for about a month.
“They're more or less a normal family from what we've seen,” he said. “You'd see the kids out playing on the porch or they would get pizza delivered to their house but that's about it.”
Burgess said life in the neighborhood is usually uneventful.
“This is a big surprise,” he said. “It's a nice area. You never hear much about things like this happening. I feel terrible for her and the kids.”
Clabes said the investigation into the woman's death will continue over the next few days and beyond.
“We are in the initial stages of our investigation,” Clabes said. “The children have been taken into protective custody and are undergoing a medical evaluation to ensure they are physically sound. A follow-up forensic interview will take place to gather more facts. Leads are being developed as we speak, and we are in the process of notifying next of kin.”