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Lawmen uncover clues in girls' killings

By Johnny Johnson Modified: June 10, 2008 at 12:39 am •  Published: June 10, 2008
WELEETKA — The dirt road near Taylor Dawn Paschal-Placker's house was a familiar place to the 13-year-old girl and her best friend, Skyla Jade Whitaker, 11.

The girls often traveled the road going to sleepovers or to play in the rural pastures near their homes in east central Oklahoma.

Now investigators are retracing the girls' steps, looking for clues to their gruesome murders after their bodies were found in a ditch along the road.

The girls, wearing T-shirts and shorts, were found shot to death about 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Taylor's grandfather, Peter Placker, found the girls after he went looking for them when his wife tried calling their granddaughter's cell phone and got no answer.

"I can't describe coming up on it,” Peter Placker said, sobbing as he tried to talk about the moment he found the girls' bodies about a quarter-mile from his house. "I done it once, and I can't do it again.”

The girls, who were sleeping at Taylor's house, decided to take a walk down the desolate road Sunday afternoon.

"She was the best kid I've known,” Placker said.

Investigators combed the area in search of the girls Sunday night before heavy rain hit. Fresh tire tracks made a U-turn where the girls' bodies were. Investigators said they found other evidence that helped them identify a "person of interest.”

No arrests had been made Monday night. Investigators are trying to figure out a motive in the killings and what type of gun was used. The road where the bodies were found is isolated. Guest book: Taylor Dawn Paschal-Placker Guest book: Skyla Jade Whitaker

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