Tahlequah Daily Press

November 20, 2012

Father of dead toddler arrested for neglect


Tahlequah — A 19-year-old Tahlequah man was arrested for child neglect or endangerment and second-degree manslaughter after his 18-month-old daughter was found unconscious in a car at Norris Park Monday night.

At about 9 p.m., a Tahlequah City Hospital ambulance was dispatched to the scene, and paramedics were already treating the child when police officers arrived. According to reports, Detective Jeff Haney said the child had a very high core body temperature.

She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police said the child's father, Cody Butler, had been outside the vehicle and in the park while the baby was strapped into a car seat in the back seat. Butler reportedly took the child out of the vehicle and begin to give her CPR when he noticed her cheeks were purple.

The matter is still under investigation by local police and the state medical examiner’s office.