Teacher’s assistant, son arrested for child neglect

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SPENCER, Okla.-Police in Spencer say they have arrested and charged an adoptive mother and son with child neglect after finding two girls locked outside of a home on a regular basis.

Spencer Police Chief Virgil Green said, "When officers got there, they only had a container of water that had less than two glasses in it and a bag that contained a pack of Ramen noodles with some other snacks in it."

Authorities say the 11-year-old and 13-year-old girls were also living in a home with no running water.

Karen Bradford and her son, Aaron, are now charged with neglecting the girls.

Investigators say they spoke to Bradford and learned that she had adopted the children through DHS.

However, she allegedly gave them to her son because she didn't want them anymore.

Police say she admitted to locking the girls outside when they lived with her because she claimed they would steal things.

Green said, "That's not acceptable punishment for any child of any age."

Bill Riley said, "If you can't take care of them then you need to go to the appropriate authorities and say 'I can't take care of them' instead of treating them like outside animals."

Despite responses like this, police say Karen Bradford remained defiant and saw no problem with the treatment of the girls.

After her son's arrest, she allegedly said the girls are not welcome at either home.

Green said, "The mother really had no remorse whatsoever for what occurred. She was more concerned with her 28-year-old son going to jail."

Karen Bradford, who is also a teacher's assistant at a local school, told police she tried to give the girls back to the state.

We talked to DHS to find out if there was a legal way to do that.

They told us that since the girls were legally hers, giving them back would have been considered child abandonment, which is a crime.

NewsChannel 4 spoke to Bradford's employer and they told us it's a personal issue but because of Oklahoma law charges, she may not be able to continue working with children.

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