An Oklahoma couple have been arrested and charged with murder after the woman allegedly gave birth to a baby and then abandoned the newborn in the garbage, resulting in her estranged husband burying the infant girl, according to authorities.
Prosecutors announced that Sarah Nickole Helton, 40, and Kevin Ray Helton, 60, were charged with second-degree murder and child neglect while authorities continue to search for the baby, according to the Enid News & Eagle.
Authorities said they started investigating the pair after someone borrowed Kevin’s phone and found photographs and videos of what appeared to be a dead child.
Officials claimed the phone also contained a text message from Kevin to Sarah that allegedly read: “Do you want me to tell your daughter what really happened to her sister? I buried her this morning because you left her in the trash."
Additional text messages on the phone indicated the baby was born on Dec. 27, 2022, at Kevin’s home in Hayward, officials said.
Investigators interviewed both Sarah and Kevin, who provided conflicting details about the case. Sarah told detectives that Kevin provided the baby to an adoption agency, but police were not able to find any evidence backing up that claim.
Meanwhile, Kevin alleged he urged Sarah to call for an ambulance during the delivery but she refused, police said. Sarah told investigators she refused to go to the hospital because she had an open warrant and didn’t want to get arrested, officials said.
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Kevin told investigators that he later found the newborn in the trash after Sarah had left his home, the Enid News & Eagle reported.
Court records state police had “difficulty staying inside” the home for an extended period of time due to it being an “extremely unpleasant environment,” according to the Enid News & Eagle. Police also noted there were large amounts of dog feces on the floor, along with numerous other objects and household items.
Officials said they have not found the child but believe she is dead.
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The couple were booked into the Garfield County Detention Facility with bond set at $250,000 for Sarah and $200,000 for Kevin, authorities said.
Records show that Sarah pleaded guilty to accessory to murder in connection with the death of a man in Tulsa in 2004. Kevin also has a previous felony conviction, according to reports.
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