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Fathers of slain Weleetka girls speak out one year later

OKEMAH - The father of one of two girls slain in Weleetka one year ago said the past year has been "pure hell" not knowing who may have been responsible.

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Weleetka bands together after tragedies
A community healing service will be a remembrance of the slain girls.

WELEETKA — Residents will gather at the high school Monday for a service of community healing, recalling the lives of two young girls who were murdered near here on June 8 last year.

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Pain that lingers
Young girls' deaths change lives

WELEETKA — Without fail, William Whitaker visits a year-old memorial alongside County Line Road every week.

This memorial, which sits in a shallow ditch at the edge of the dirt road, is filled with dozens of stuffed animals, ceramic figurines, bouquets of flowers, photos and crosses.

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Weleetka murders remain unsolved


"It's gone on long enough. The families are hurt. The community is hurt. I just want it to be brought to an end," says William Whitaker.

The OSBI is still offering a large reward in the case. 36 thousand dollars will be given to anyone with information that leads to an arrest.

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OSBI Pleads for Help in Solving Weleetka Murders

OKEMAH, Oklahoma -- Law enforcement officials pleaded Monday for the public's help in helping to solve the double murder of two Weleetka girls on the anniversary of the shootings.

Authorities say they believe someone has key information in the slayings of 13-year-old Taylor Paschal-Placker and 11-year-old Skyla Jade Whitaker.

"This coward has not come forward, but we do believe there are other people who have information as to who this person or people are," Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Spokesperson Jessica Brown said.

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WELEETKA, OK -- About two dozen volunteers from a Tulsa company traveled to Weleetka to help revitalize the downtown that was damaged by fire.

Half of Weleetka's Main Street is a pile of rubble.

"These small communities have just a very hard time even surviving," said Sylvia Powell, a Tulsa volunteer.

The volunteer effort was about helping to rebuild the town devastated by loss.

Last summer, two young girls were gunned down during an afternoon stroll down a rural road.

OKEMAH, Okla. -- State investigators plan to announce an increase in the reward offered for information in the shooting deaths of two girls near the town of Weleetka last summer. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown said a donation from a private citizen will allow for a "sizable increase" to the current $40,000 reward.
The OSBI and Okfuskee County District Attorney’s Office are happy to announce a substantial increase in the reward for information pertaining to the murders of 13-year-old Taylor Placker and 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker – gunned down just yards from Placker’s home near Weleetka June 8, 2008.

Several donors have come forward to add to the reward. An anonymous donor is offering a $70,000.00 reward and two Tulsa area independent oil companies are putting up a combined $50,000.00 reward. This puts the total reward amount for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the murders of the girls up to $160,000.00.'_MURDER_CASE.html
Some Oklahoma homicide cases linger, but aren&#8217;t cold

Published: October 4, 2009 News OK

The clock continues to tick on state investigators trying to solve the homicide of the Rev. Carol Daniels, whose nude and mutilated body was found Aug. 23 inside her small Anadarko church . Authorities have not announced any persons of interest or identified any suspects.

Oklahomans have seen such a scenario unfold repeatedly in recent years with unsolved homicide cases in towns such as Poteau, Cordell, Buffalo Valley and, perhaps most notably, Weleetka.

Read more:
Reward Renewed for Information in Weleetka Murders
[SIZE=-1]KSBI 52 - Oklahoma City,OK,USA[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]... has just announced the substantial reward announced in July of $160000 in the murders of Taylor Placker and Skyla Whitaker in Weleetka has been renewed.[/SIZE]

The reward will be renewed for 90 days beginning Wednesday, October 28.
This is an excellent page that has all the Weleetka info.
It may have been posted before but, this link has the updated info / video / written article of Jessica Brown defending OSBI's actions.
I wish I was surprised by this news article, but, sadly, I am not.

An Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation DNA analyst was fired last month after a review of her case work revealed instances of sample contamination, handling errors and documentation mistakes, an investigation by The Oklahoman has revealed.

Analyst Shelly Schultz, 32, of Oklahoma City, was given an opportunity to improve her performance, but was fired after additional problems were noted — including accidentally switching samples during a proficiency test overseen by quality control officials.

One Oklahoma County murder trial already has been delayed three months because of Schultz's termination.

Read more:
There was no OSBI press conference this year on the 3rd anniversary of this tragedy; however, their one paragraph press release is contained within the local station's stories linked below:

Some WS members have been very involved in the creation of the Memorial Gardens featured in this first story....
(This channel did a great story today that I'll post as soon as it's on their website),0,3162664.story

The guns
On Sept. 20, OSBI officials said they were looking for a gun believed to have been sold after it was used in the commission of a crime. At the time, they did not mention a connection with the Weleetka case.
A $1,000 reward was offered for information leading to the gun, but that generated no leads, Brown said.
Two separate guns were used to kill Skyla Whitaker, 11, and Taylor Paschal-Placker, 13, on June 8, 2008. The two best friends were shot multiple times as they walked down a rural dirt road four miles northeast of Weleetka. Investigators said they appeared to have walked to the bridge and were returning home when they were killed.
Shell casings but no weapons were found at the scene. Brown declined to release information about the second gun.
WELEETKA, Oklahoma -- The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is looking for a key piece of evidence used in the murder of two Weleetka girls in June 2008.
The item is a Glock .40 caliber handgun with the serial number of EKG463US.
9/20/2011 Related Story: Oklahoma Law Enforcement Agency Looking For A Particular Handgun
The OSBI says whoever has the gun is not suspected of any crime, but says it wants the current owner of the handgun to contact the OSBI at 800-522-8017.
The OSBI so far has not explained how it obtained the serial number for the gun or why it believes this particular gun is the murder weapon.

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