Autopsy results pending but sheriff believes suspect hanged himself
Photo Credit: 
Chronicle photo by Lisa Carroll

WMWR - After law enforcement agencies spent three days and two nights combing the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge for Norman homicide suspect Christopher Trent, the manhunt ceased Saturday morning.

Officials ended their search at about 9 a.m. on Jan. 4, after reportedly finding Trent's deceased body in an area just north of Quetone Point on the refuge. While autopsy results are still pending to determine the official cause of death, Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley said it is believed that Trent hanged himself sometime between Friday evening and early Saturday morning.  According to the sheriff, Trent's body was discovered in an area north of where officials had previously located his abandoned vehicle on the evening of Wednesday, Jan.1. Officials say, Christopher James Trent, 38, was being sought in connection with the death of a 2-year-old boy in Norman. On the morning of Jan. 1, the boy was reportedly found unresponsive, "cold, blue and not breathing" at a residence in the 700 blocks of Vicks- burg Avenue. He was pronounced deceased at the Norman Regional Hospital. Detective Sean Judy with the Norman Police Department documented that upon visual examination, the child had multiple injuries across his face, head, scrotum and back. Information filed in the Cleveland County District Court on Jan. 2, shows that during an interview with officials, the boy's mother, identified as Rebecca Hogue, "reported a history of injuries to the child while under Trent's care...

"The record indicates that Hogue had observed and photographed several of the child's injuries in Dec., but said when she questioned Trent about it, she did not receive an explanation for the injuries. After obtaining a search warrant for the residence, investigators reportedly located vomit soiled bedding and a large hole in the wall of the master bedroom. Hair samples removed from the base of the hole in sheetrock were "consistent" with the deceased child's hair, states the filed document. Hogue told officials that her son had been under Trent's care while she had been at work throughout the night on Dec. 31. When she had arrived home and got into bed with Trent and her son at 4:40 a.m. on Jan. 1, the report notes that she said she had kissed the boy and observed that his body temperature had been warm. By 10:40 a.m. she reports that she woke up, found him unresponsive and called 911. Trent, said to be Hogue's live-in boyfriend, was not at the residence when officers arrived and an arrest warrant for a complaint of first-degree murder was issued, states a NPD press release. Once Trent's vehicle was located on the WMWR, multiple law enforcement agencies collaborated to search the area with tactical teams, bloodhounds and by air with use of drones, a helicopter and a plane. "We knew there was a chance he could've caught a ride and left, but we just had this feeling that he stayed there," said Sheriff Stradley. "All together we trailed those hills for three days and two nights. It was quite an effort." The sheriff says the search resulted in "a good working relationship between WMWR officials, Comanche County Sheriff's Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Oklahoma Stae Bureau of Investigation, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics,  Lawton Police Department and the Department of Corrections. "The end result is that we did find him and everyone in the area can breathe a little better," Sheriff Stradley said. "We're glad we found him for closure for his family and a little closure for the lady whose son was killed. It's a sad situation all around."