Missing Toddler Found Dead in Oklahoma

Efthymis Oraiopoulos
By Efthymis Oraiopoulos
September 14, 2022US News
Missing Toddler Found Dead in Oklahoma
Ares Muse in an undated photo. (Brandi Gaither via GoFundMe)

A missing toddler was found dead on Sept. 12 in Oklahoma. Local police identified 2-year-old Ares Muse’s body in tribal land in Okema, Oklahoma.

A rescue operation had been ongoing until the toddler’s body was found. More than 20 federal, state, and local authorities as well as volunteer residents were involved in the effort, reported The Kansas City Star. Drones, airboats, and dogs were used in the search that lasted 12 hours, along Highway 56 in Okfuskee County.

The toddler’s body was found near the Interstate 40 exit in Okfuskee County, not far from the Seminole County border, and around half a mile from the child’s home.

It is not yet clear how the toddler got out of his house, and how he died. Police are continuing the investigation of the case.

Jason Salsman, a spokesperson for the Muscogee Nation, said Muse unlocked three locking mechanisms before exiting his house, according to The Kansas City Star.

Police are investigating whether Muse exited the house by himself, or if criminal activity was involved. His family is cooperating with police in the investigation.

Muse’s father said that the boy crawled into bed at around 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 12, and when the father woke up at 6:30 a.m., the toddler was missing, according to The Kansas City Star.

“We talked all day long about wanting a good outcome, and we didn’t get that,” Salsman said in a news briefing. “It’s unfortunate, but that doesn’t take away from the effort and from how we need to be there in our hearts and minds for this family.”

Trooper Eric Foster with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said, “We hate to be able to give news like this, it’s very unfortunate. But we do come together,” Foster said. “And we had a lot of citizens reach out as well wanting to help, and that’s just Oklahoma and we are proud to be a part of that.”

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol posted on Twitter: “We are saddened to update that the Creek Nation has confirmed Ares Muse was found deceased this evening. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Ares Muse’s family has created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for funeral costs and other things the family needs help with.

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