Girls found dead near small Oklahoma town
There's not much you can say about a story like this...
WELEETKA, Okla. (AP) — The bodies of two girls were found shot to death in rural Oklahoma along a dirt road the best friends walked dozens of times to play and go to sleepovers.
By Tuesday, investigators had no suspects and were unsure of the motive for Sunday's killings of 13-year-old Taylor Paschal-Placker and 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker.
Residents remained on edge knowing a murderer could be in this close community of 1,000.
"Believe it or not, I have never pulled any shades in my house and I keep my doors unlocked," said Dena Priddy, a teacher's aide at the school the victims attended. "You just don't expect these things to happen here."
Taylor's grandfather found their bodies after his wife got no answer when she called Taylor's cellular phone. The girls were sleeping over at Taylor's house and had decided to take a walk down the desolate road Sunday afternoon.
Peter Placker sobbed uncontrollably Monday as he tried to remember finding the girls' bodies about a quarter of a mile from his house near Weleetka, about 70 miles south of Tulsa.
We had the same thing happen in our area (Zion, Illinois) about 4 years back. As that one turned out it was someone the family knew - the stepfather.
Full autopsy results were not available yet, but sexual assaultappears unlikely, said Special Agent Ben Rosser of the Oklahoma StateBureau of Investigation. He noted the girls were clothed and had onlybeen missing for a half hour.
Investigators were examining evidence, including tire tracks, shell casings, ballistics and shoe prints for any possible leads.
"We will bring all the resources we need to try to help in our investigation," Rosser said in an afternoon news conference.
But as of Tuesday afternoon, authorities had identified no suspects or persons of interest in the crime.
"Nobody we could put a finger on and say this guy's good for it," Rosser said.
A $14,000 reward was being offered for information about the killings.
On Tuesday morning, Taylor's uncle, Joe Mosher, drove up to themakeshift memorial at the place the bodies were found. Yellow crimescene tape had been torn away and thick patches of grass were matteddown.
A rosary hung from a branch, and stuffed animals and abouquet of flowers just beginning to wilt formed the grim reminder ofinnocence lost.
"It's the most tragic thing that I've ever seen,"said Nell Mosher, Taylor's aunt. "They were just two precious littlebabies; they were good girls."