Oklahoma City couple facing child neglect charges after 5 children found unsupervised, had been asking neighbors for food

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Shashana Wapskineh

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OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City couple is facing charges of child neglect after police found their five children unsupervised, living inside an apartment in deplorable conditions.

On Sunday, police were called to an apartment complex in the 100 block of W. I-240 Service Rd. in reference to children running around the complex.

The caller told police that the children are often seen running around the complex without any adult supervision.

When officers went to check the apartment where the children reportedly lived, they noted the door appeared to be broken as if it had been kicked in previously.

According to the police report, five children, ages 1 to 11, were inside the apartment unsupervised.

Officers noticed the two youngest children’s diapers were dirty and asked the oldest children to change them.

Police officers noted in the police report that the apartment was very dirty, with spilled food, trash and open dirty diapers laying on the floor.

According to the police report, the only edible food in the apartment was some bread, bologna, hot dogs and chips that a neighbor had recently brought over to the house.

The neighbor told police the children come to her apartment approximately three times a week asking for food and something to drink.

As police were waiting for DHS to come to the scene, the children’s father, Michael Pickering, 35, walked up to the apartment asking about his children.

He said he believed a family member was watching the children; however, police said the children were left unattended and had no adult supervision.

Police placed Pickering in custody.  He then told authorities where the children’s mother, Shashana Wapskineh, 30, could be found.

When police interviewed the children’s mother, officers said the woman appeared to be under the influence of a narcotic.

According to the police report, Wapskineh told officers that she was not in charge of watching the children and that it was not her responsibility.

Pickering and Wapskineh were both arrested for child neglect.

Wapskineh was booked into the Oklahoma County Jail.

Pickering was refused at the jail and admitted to a local hospital because he is on dialysis.

Pickering told authorities that he had been trying to take care of the children, but since he is unable to get around a lot, he said he is unable to work, which  he says hinders his ability to take care of his children.

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