Anna Marie Hyden, a troubled 23-year-old mom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will sit in jail as she awaits trial on child neglect charges in connection with the death of her six-month-old baby boy, Arrow Hyden — a baby whose life was in danger from the day he was born, according to records uncovered in an investigation by KJRH TV News in Tulsa.
According to Oklahoma Department of Human Services records, baby Arrow tested positive for marijuana in his system on the very day he was born, a report in the Tulsa World newspaper said. His mom, Anna Marie Hyden, admitted to DHS workers that she drank alcohol and used heroin while pregnant, all the way into her final trimester.
— Tulsa’s Channel 8 (@KTULNews) January 24, 2016
In fact, the DHS had five contacts with the drug-addicted mom over the several months leading up to Arrow’s heartbreaking death in a filthy shed littered with garbage, hypodermic needles, syringes and other drug paraphernalia on January 16 of this year.
In one visit, Hyden reportedly told her case worker that she “snorts, shoots or smokes the meth and it doesn’t matter.” She would often leave the boy alone with a babysitter or with her boyfriend, who was 29 years her senior, while she would use drugs, she told the DHS worker, according to The Tulsa World.
The following video news report contains further details on the death of Arrow Hyden and the scandal surrounding the state DHS failure to protect the baby from his mother, Anna Hyden.
Child advocates in Tulsa called the death of Arrow Hyden the most “blatant failure” of the state’s DHS that they had ever seen after records showed that DHS case workers called reports that Arrow was suffering from neglect “unsubstantiated” on several occasions, even though the mom admitted that she used methamphetamine while breastfeeding little Arrow, and she and her 52-year-old boyfriend, Kevin Lee Crawford, were frequently under the influence of drugs or alcohol while Arrow was in their care.
Crawford frequently disciplined the baby for crying by “taking away all of his freedom, so he’ll submit,” Hyden told police, according to a police affidavit reported by The Tulsa World.
Hyden and Crawford also failed to seek medical attention for Arrow when he developed pneumonia, the charges against them say. Arrow slept upstairs in the shed, which in addition to being littered with trash, also had no running water.
Eventually, emergency responders were called and found Arrow unresponsive. At the time, only Crawford was in the shed with Arrow. The paramedics rushed the baby to a nearby hospital, but it was too late. Arrow Hyden was pronounced dead of cardiac arrest shortly after arrival.
— Nathan Edwards FOX45 (@Nathan_Edwards) February 18, 2016
Anna Marie Hyden had posted a bond of $55,250 after her arrest in January, allowing her to remain free while awaiting trial on the child neglect charges. But when she appeared for a date in Tulsa County Court on Friday, Judge William Lafortune ordered her back to jail anyway, saying she had violated her probation on an earlier charge.
In 2013, Anna Marie Hyden was convicted on a felony “false personation” charge — in other words, using someone else’s name or identity for false purposes — as well as two misdemeanors related to her use of a vehicle.
Her four-year sentence was deferred and Hyden was placed on probation, but the judge said that the child neglect charge violated the terms of her probation and threw her in jail to serve those four years immediately.
She will sit in jail until her trial on the child neglect charge in the death of her little boy Arrow, and if convicted could have additional time tacked on to her current sentence.
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But attention has also focused on the failure of DHS workers to rescue Arrow from his dangerous situation. Documents uncovered by the KJRH investigation show that workers knew that the little baby was living in filthy, severely unhealthy conditions and that his mother was a regular drug user who was frequently homeless, drifting from house to house before moving into the shed.
“Whoever dropped that ball needs to be held accountable for the death of that baby,” child advocate Sandra Givens, with the organization Save Our Youth, told KJRH-TV News. “We’re losing children because of them failing to go back out and check on these kids.”
The case worker for Anna Marie Hyden approached a Tulsa prosecutor just nine days before Arrow’s heart stopped forever and was told to remove the child from his mother’s care immediately. But still nothing was done. That case worker, Ladana Miller, was subsequently suspended without pay.
[Photos By Tulsa Department of Corrections/Police Handout]