Marie Pitchford of Poteau and Marie Wilson of Guthrie have never met, but they know each other intimately in one respect. Both suffered the slaying of a parent in the past 16 months, and both are staring at unsolved cases. "It’s heartbreaking,” Wilson said. "You feel guilty. The hardest part is that one-year anniversary. I stood over my mother’s grave, and said, ‘I’m so sorry.’ You feel like you want justice ... on this earth — and then you realize, it may not happen.” Frieda Dighton, Wilson’s mother, was killed in the bedroom of her rural Buffalo Valley home June 5, 2008. Dighton, 67, drove each day to visit her husband, C.R., in a Talihina veterans home, and she lived alone. To date, no arrests have been made. "I can’t imagine going a whole year without someone being caught,” said Pitchford, whose father, Joe Neff, 61, disappeared from his Long Branch Saloon in Poteau May 14. Fishermen found the bar owner’s body three days later in an old mining strip near Pocola. Investigators have told Pitchford they have nothing new to report. "I think about it every day, Pitchford said. "I’ve just been a wreck. It’s been four months, and I still haven’t been able to return to work. I just tell people, ‘This could be your day care provider’s husband or someone who works in your business.’ They’re still out there. I feel depressed sometimes, but I can’t give up hope. Somebody out there knows something. Just why aren’t they talking?” A $15,000 reward offered in connection with Dighton’s killing produced no telephone calls, Wilson said. Still, she holds out hope despite the realization her mother’s case might be going cold. "My father died in May, and I’ve had to handle the estate,” Wilson said. "The first time I had to go back into my mother’s home (with the Latimer County sheriff) it brought back all those emotions. That was hard. Finally, after all those months, I just had an emotional meltdown. It was almost too much to take.”
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