Crime & Safety

Cruel woman brutally beat her niece, 3, to death and lied that she fell off a pool ladder in the backyard, case moves forward

In an unnerving development that has sent shockwaves through the area where this incident took place, a 62-year-old grandmother stands accused of the heinous crime of murdering her 3-year-old granddaughter.

The proceedings against the accused reached a crucial juncture earlier this month in a courtroom presided over by Special Judge Scott F. B., who, after a careful examination of the evidence, concluded that the prosecution’s case was fortified with sufficient legal ground to move towards a full trial.

A. Vreeland, the alleged perpetrator of this horrifying act, is now confronted with grave legal accusations including a charge of first-degree murder and another for the desecration of a corpse, all stemming from the ghastly incident that transpired in June 2022.

The details of this alarming crime were unveiled through a series of documents and announcements from the Oklahoma City Police Department. According to an initial press release, officers were summoned to a residence in the 600 block of SW151 Street at approximately 2:22 p.m. on June 21, 2022, responding to an opaque emergency call categorized as a “trouble unknown.”

Upon arrival, first responders were faced with the harrowing discovery of a deceased child on the premises.

“Officers found the body of three-year-old Riley Nolan in a residential trash receptacle at the home,” the release states. “The child had obvious signs of trauma to her body.”

As investigators reconstructed the events of that dreadful day, they deduced that young Riley had been under the care of her grandmother, identified in the report as Vreeland. The ensuing police action saw Vreeland transported to department headquarters, where she underwent an interview, culminating in her booking into the Cleveland County Jail on suspicion of murder.

Since that dark moment, Vreeland has been steadfast in her denial of involvement in her granddaughter’s death, repeatedly articulating a defense that the child met her tragic end by falling from a ladder in the backyard. Yet, despite these protestations, the proceedings have advanced, with recent hearings unearthing disturbing new particulars about the grisly crime scene.

In a revelation that has further compounded the disturbing nature of a murder case resonating throughout Tulsa, Oklahoma, CBS affiliate KOTV-DT has shed light on the grim details provided by an OCPD homicide detective during court testimony regarding the murder of three-year-old Riley.

The detective delineated how the child’s body was discovered inside a recycling bin located just outside the home of B. A. Vreeland, the grandmother accused of this macabre crime. Chillingly, the bin was found to contain the little girl’s toys and was covered with two blankets, one of which was adorned with characters from the popular movie “Frozen.”

Expounding on the sinister nature of the crime scene, the detective reportedly informed the court that a comprehensive investigation led to the detection of blood spatter across various locations within the residence. This included the master bedroom, master bathroom, and other areas, leading to a total of 28 swabs being taken and analyzed. A disconcerting number of these were reported by Oklahoma City ABC affiliate KOCO-TV to have tested positive for Riley’s DNA.

Adding to the disconcerting revelations, the detective testified that a search of the master bathroom uncovered two small, circular indentations in the wall. These marks, the detective noted with a grim implication, “appear to be the size of a child’s head.”

In a prior interview with KOCO last September, Vreeland offered an unsettling explanation, stating that she habitually stored Riley’s toys in the recycling bin at the back of the house. She also described a pool ladder adjacent to the bin, conjecturing that Riley had climbed it, then fallen and died. In an admission that raised further questions, Vreeland claimed to have discovered Riley dead upon waking that morning.

Yet, it was revealed that the one who found the child’s already decomposing body was not Vreeland but her ex-husband and Riley’s grandfather. He made the gruesome discovery three days postmortem and contacted the police, a move Vreeland reportedly avoided for fear that authorities would take her other grandchildren away.

Further undermining Vreeland’s account, the detective’s testimony on Tuesday included the disconcerting detail that the ladder next to the recycling bin was bereft of its base and would collapse immediately if attempted to be used.

As the community grapples with the horrifying complexity of this case, the legal proceedings march on. Judge Brockman has scheduled Vreeland’s formal arraignment hearing for August 18, a date that is certain to draw continued attention to a crime that has cast a somber shadow over the region.

Jordan Collins

Jordan is an experienced editor with years in the journalism and reporting industry. He loves talking with the community about the problems local residents face and state politics. You can find him in the gym almost every day or see him jogging.

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