Couple arrested after missing child found at Gore residence
A Gore man was charged on Oct. 30 with failure to comply with Sex Offender Registration Act after failing to notify the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Sex and Violent Offender Registration that he was living in a residence where three minor children resided that included one that was entered as missing, along with his ex-wife who was wanted by Texas authorities.
Morris L. Lusk, 54, received a $20,000 bond, according to Sequoyah County court records and is now set for a Dec. 11 felony disposition docket with Judge Kyle Waters.
Sequoyah County Sheriff's Investigator Cindy Smith reported she received information from Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Agent Shawn Ward in reference to a missing child possibly being at a Gore area residence.
Ward received information from the Colin County Sheriff's Office in Texas that Michelle Lusk, 30, who is also the ex-wife of Morris Lusk, was possibly living with Morris Lusk near Gore. Ward reported Michelle Lusk also has an outstanding felony warrant out of Texas for interference with child custody.
Ward said it was believed a juvenile male, who'd been entered into the national data base as a missing person abducted by the non-custodial parent (Michelle Lusk) was with the couple.
Smith attempted to locate the Lusk residence to speak with Michelle Lusk. She made contact with a neighboring residence where she spoke to two individuals who said they were neighbors of Morris Lusk. The two said they didn't believe Morris Lusk was there but Michelle Lusk and the children probably were. They said the last time they'd seen Michelle Lusk and the children was the night before.
Another neighbor told Smith that Morris Lusk was working in Muskogee and was not at home. Smith told the neighbor she was there for a compliance check concerning his Sex Offender Registration and the neighbor said that he believed Morris Lusk was up-to-date and he regularly checked the mailbox so that he could get his registration done on time.
When asked if Morris Lusk lived with anyone at the residence, the neighbor said that he lived alone, and then agreed to tell Morris Lusk to contact Smith.
Shortly after leaving, Smith said she received a message from dispatch to call Morris Lusk and was given a phone number to call. Morris Lusk said the neighbor gave him Smith's contact information and that she'd been at the residence inquiring about him. Smith told him she was conducting a compliance check on his Sex Offender Registration and he said he was current and not at his residence at that time. He also said that he planned on being back at the residence within 30 minutes to an hour, and that he would be leaving at 4:30 a.m. the next morning and would not return for a few days.
Smith told him she needed to complete his compliance check and he again stated he would be back in a few days. Smith then traveled back to the Lusk residence to speak with him where she found the front door opened but the screen door closed. The deputy also noted that several children's toys were in a sandbox outside the residence.
The deputy reported she could hear movement coming from inside and four dogs were at the front door that appeared to be waiting for someone to let them in. Smith and deputy Tyler White knocked on the door several times but no one answered. Smith also announced their presence but still received no response. The deputies decided to wait on Morris Lusk to return to the residence and investigators BR Rutherford, Chris Grizzle and Christian Goode were called in to assist.
When Morris Lusk arrived they spoke with him outside. Smith asked if there was anyone else there or if Michelle Lusk was inside, and Morris Lusk responded that he didn't know. When asked if Michelle Lusk and the minor child were at the residence when he left earlier, Morris Lusk would not answer.
Smith asked for permission to search since Michelle Lusk had an outstanding felony warrant and the minor had been entered as missing and Lusk gave permission for the search. Inside, authorities found several children's toys in the living room area and two small cots, along with several articles of children's clothing.
Rutherford located a woman inside and when Smith asked her name, she said 'Samantha.' Smith told her she received a photo stating her name was Michelle Lusk and the woman finally confirmed she was Michelle Lusk and was placed under arrest for the warrant.
Michelle Lusk told Smith the children were at the neighbor's residence and she and the children had been at the neighbor's home visiting when police arrived and spoke with the neighbor earlier that day. She said she then returned home to cook dinner because she didn't believe the deputies would return for a few days.
Michelle Lusk reportedly admitted she and three minor children had been living with Morris Lusk off and on for two years. She said sometimes they stay at the residence when he is out on jobs and sometimes they go with him.
Investigators Grizzle and Goode made contact with the neighbor who said the three children were inside his residence and brought them outside. The oldest child was confirmed to be the child entered as missing.
Morris Lusk was placed under arrest on the charge of Violation of Sex Offenders Registration, as he had not disclosed that any children were living in the residence at the time or on his past registrations.
The children were released to the Department of Human Services and Morris Lusk and Michelle Lusk were transported to the Sequoyah County Detention Center.