US & Canada

Oklahoma girl, 11, finds wanted man hiding in closet

Race Cox Image copyright Carter County
Image caption Race Cox had been wanted for at least one serious crime before breaking into the family home

An 11-year-old Oklahoma girl has said she was "scared to death" to find a stranger - who turned out to be a wanted man - hiding in her closet.

Presley Brown said the intruder emerged from her walk-in wardrobe and said: "Don't be scared, little girl."

Her screams alerted her father, who tackled the man before he fled with $100 of her birthday money.

Police caught up with the suspect, 26-year-old Race Cox, who was wanted on at least one felony warrant.

Image copyright WNEP-TV
Image caption Presley Brown said: "I started screaming bloody murder"

Presley recalled seeing the strange man's reflection in a mirror while she was playing on her phone in her en suite bathroom.

"I started screaming bloody murder," she told ABC affiliate WNEP-TV.

"I hope no other men come in my closet," she added.

The girl's mother, Monica Brown, described hearing her daughter's panic.

"We hear her scream... We meet her in the hallway. She's literally, she's just crying," said Mrs Brown.

Image copyright WNEP-TV
Image caption The girl's mother, Monica Brown, said: "He could have put his hand over her mouth"

"He could have put his hand over her mouth.

"Who knows what could have happened, but now it just makes us a lot more aware."

The family home is currently under construction, and a builder had warned the family earlier in the day that somebody had been seen running through the home.

Presley said her sense of security has been shaken.

"Every time I come in my closet or my room or my bathroom, anywhere, I just think about it and like I remember how scary it was," the girl said.

Cox is being held in Carter County Jail on a $40,000 (£32,000) bail bond.