, Muskogee, OK

Local News

November 21, 2012

Police investigate child’s death

Father arrested after toddler found unresponsive in car

Tahlequah police are investigating the death of a toddler after she was found unresponsive in a park and later died.

Tahlequah Police Department spokesman Brad Robertson said the 18-month-old girl was left in a running vehicle Monday outside of Norris Park.

The girl’s father, Cody Butler, 19, was arrested and booked into the Cherokee County Detention Center on complaints of:

• Child neglect or endangerment; and

• Second-degree manslaughter.

Butler was released from jail Tuesday on $10,000 bond.

“Butler was parked in a parking spot in the park visiting, and the child was in the back seat of the car in a child seat,” Robertson said. “The child was bundled up.”

Butler noticed the child’s cheeks had turned purple, Robertson said, and removed the child from the vehicle. Det. Jeff Haney’s initial investigation showed the child had an “extremely high core temperature,” according to a release from the Tahlequah Police Department.

“CPR was started by a female who was there talking to Butler,” Robertson said. “

Police are trying to determine how long the 18-month old was left in the vehicle before anyone noticed her symptoms, Robertson said.

“We are trying to determine how long it would have taken for this to have occurred,” Robertson said.

Robertson said the toddler’s body is with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and their report on the cause of death would be needed before the district attorney makes a decision regarding formal charges.

Tahlequah Police Chief Clay Mahaney said the death of a young child is extremely difficult to everyone involved.

“This type of tragedy is one of the hardest calls we respond to as law enforcement officers,” Mahaney said. “We feel for the family and strongly remind everyone to never leave a young child unattended for any amount of time.”

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or

Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

     View Results
Featured Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.