BROKEN ARROW, Okla.—Police responding to a silent 911 call found five people stabbed to death inside a well-kept suburban Tulsa home, then detained two teenage male relatives of the victims after a police dog tracked them down in nearby woods.
Broken Arrow Police Sgt. Thomas Cooper said Thursday that officers responded to the house near the Indian Springs Country Club after emergency operators received an “open 911 call” — a call in which no one speaks but the line remains connected. Police traced the number to the home and found a scene so disturbing that police warned that it could take all of Thursday to process evidence.
“It certainly is shocking. I’m shocked,” said Patricia Statham, a neighbor. “I feel so bad for everyone who walks into that house. You can see it in the faces of the officers when they come out.”
Cooper said nine people were linked to the family home — the five dead, which included adults and juveniles; the two teenagers in custody; a girl in critical condition with stab wounds; and another child who was unharmed. The child who wasn’t wounded has been transferred to state custody, Cooper said.
Police with a dog tracked down the two male relatives, aged 16 and 18, in woods near the neighborhood, Cooper said.
“It appears that the two suspects fled out the door sometime during our arrival. We had a K-9 track and they were apprehended,” Cooper said.
Broken Arrow is on the Arkansas River, just southeast of Tulsa, and the home is in a well-established, upper-middle-class neighborhood surrounded on three sides by the country club. Property records showed the home sold for $245,000 in 2007, and Tulsa County tax records show it is among the largest and most expensive homes on the block.
Helen Hoagland, who has lived in the subdivision for 42 years, said she would sometimes see the mother walking in the neighborhood with several children whom she described as home schooled and kept on a tight leash.
Hoagland said the children used to help decorate the neighborhood’s entrance each Christmas, but that they stopped taking part a few years ago.
“We just have a great neighborhood. That’s just crazy; it’s absolutely crazy,” Hoagland said as she watched police work the crime scene before dawn.
Crime — particularly homicide — isn’t usually a problem in Broken Arrow, a popular Tulsa suburb with a population of about 103,000.
“Usually the worst thing we have here is kids with baseball bats destroying mailboxes,” said Statham, a retiree who has lived in the neighborhood for 38 years.
“Whenever I’d see the children with the mom, they always seemed OK,” she said. “I saw them outside playing. I’d see the boys out mowing the lawn.”
Cooper said Broken Arrow police asked the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for assistance.