TULSA, Okla. -- A man and woman are behind bars accused of child abuse after police say they locked their children up while doing drugs on Thanksgiving.
Neighbors called police after walking a five-year-old home. They had seen the child down the street playing with their own kids. Officers said the neighbors were unable to find the parents, and noticed two toddlers stuck inside.
"When they were able to go to the window and find that these kids were unattended... they were in a locked, dark room and had indicated they were very hungry," Sgt. Shane Tuell said.
Police entered the home and arrested Jori Goble and Jason Hernandez on suspicion of child abuse. Officers said if the children had broken free from their room their lives would have been in danger.
"Supposedly responsible adults passed out from the drugs they had been doing with a loaded firearm between them and used needles, needles, syringes, old just laying all about," Sgt. Tuell said.
Police said these calls that put children at risk are constant, and it's becoming more challenging to stop drug use before it gets out of hand.
"They're a slave to the drug and they need help. If you write citations to them you're hoping that they go to court and hoping that they pay the fine or you can arrest them for a felony which in some cases we can but a lot of cases we don't now," Sgt. Tuell said.
Officers often spend hours on these cases. The department tells 2 Works for You this can create challenges with limited staffing as it struggles to recruit new officers.
"It does drain manpower. But these are necessary calls that we have to be on and that we need to be on. But it would be nice if we could stretch ourselves out a little bit more and help more people," Sgt. Tuell said.
The children found on Thursday are currently staying with other family members.
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