After three days of searching, Tulsa police say the effort to locate two missing toddlers is now an effort to recover their bodies.

Police Chief Wendell Franklin said while re-canvassing Shoreline Apartments on Tuesday morning, investigators found video footage that shows Miracle Crook, 3, and Tony Crook, 2, playing Friday in a grassy area near Mingo Creek.

“And we do have video of the kids going down the embankment, holding hands together, and never reappearing,” Franklin said Tuesday afternoon at a press briefing. “... We are looking at a recovery effort at this point. We are fairly confident that there is no other place for them to have come back up and been able to survive.”

Efforts will now focus along Mingo Creek, the chief said. Franklin said Friday’s rains flooded the creek, turning what’s otherwise slow, shallow water into a fast-moving torrent. Oklahoma Mesonet data shows 2.05 inches of rainfall in Tulsa over the last five days as of Tuesday afternoon with more rain in the forecast through Thursday night.

The announcement followed additional water searches earlier in the day. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol used a flat-bottomed air boat to search an area of the creek, which runs adjacent to the complex, and later used sonar and dragging equipment in the complex’s pond with assistance from the Tulsa Fire Department.

Firefighters continued the search north of 21st Street using an inflatable boat Tuesday evening. Mingo Creek flows north between U.S. 169 and Mingo Road before meeting Bird Creek near 56th Street North. From there, the creek flows east and meets the Verdigris River at the Port of Catoosa.

Groups of volunteer searchers met intermittently throughout the day at and around the complex.

Tonya Moman, who was searching around Shoreline with a group, said she was motivated to come out because she’s a grandmother.

“If that was my baby, I would want Tulsa to move earth for her,” she said. “And that’s what I’ll do. I’ll check every trash can; I will yell and scream at the top of my voice.

“I don’t know these babies, but I feel it.”

The children’s mother, Donisha Willis, was jailed on complaints of child neglect and assault and battery on a police officer, each after a former conviction of a felony. She was on probation for a previous assault and battery on a police officer conviction, as well as a drug conviction, court records show.

Willis did not have custody of the children, and it’s unclear how they ended up in her care Friday. Police found surveillance footage of the three inside a convenience store near the complex that morning, but about two hours later footage from the complex shows the toddlers wandering outside alone.

The children’s guardian, their aunt, found Willis passed out in her apartment Friday night, and the children nowhere to be found, according to an arrest report.

Willis refused to cooperate with investigators, and reportedly told them the children “don’t even matter.”

Tuesday, Franklin said he can’t say what was going on in Willis’ head at the time, but he does believe she might have been incapacitated on drugs.

She remains at the Tulsa County jail on $125,000 bond.

Franklin said detectives will make the determination on whether further charges will be pursued.


Gallery: Tulsa search expands to nearby creek for toddlers missing since Friday

World photographer Mike Simons contributed to this story.

Kelsy Schlotthauer

918-581-8455

kelsy.schlotthauer

@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @K_Schlott

Staff Writer

Kelsy graduated Oklahoma State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and joined the Tulsa World in 2019. She covers breaking news and is passionate about people, social justice and law enforcement. Phone: (918) 581-8455

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