Oklahoma City teen arrested after death of baby sister

A 13-year-old Oklahoma City boy faces a murder complaint after his baby sister died from injuries consistent with child abuse, police said.
BY BRYAN DEAN AND TIFFANY GIBSON Published: August 23, 2011
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Medical officials said the baby's injuries weren't consistent with an accidental fall.

Officers picked up two other children in the home and brought them in for questioning. Both parents said the girl was left in the care of Rivera for more than six hours while they were at work.

Police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said Rivera first was taken to Berry House on a child abuse complaint, but he was picked up and taken to the Oklahoma County jail and booked on a murder complaint after the girl died.

Wardlow said the parents are not being investigated for any wrongdoing, although a third child in the house was taken into DHS custody at least temporarily.

“There is nothing illegal about leaving a child in the care of a 13-year-old,” Wardlow said. “They had no idea this was going to happen. They were not arrested, and we don't anticipate that.”

Sheree Powell, spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services, said the agency can't comment on the case or custody of the third child taken from the house.

She said state law only allows the agency to release information within three years of a child's death if there has been an order from the court or when a person responsible for a child has been criminally charged with their death.

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