Clues sought in slaying of girls in Weleetka
WELEETKA — Investigators continue to interview people in hopes of finding a suspect in the brutal murder of two young girls found dead along a dirt road in Okfuskee County. So far there are no suspects, no proposed motives and little known about the killings.
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Taylor Dawn Paschal-Placker, 13, and Skyla Jade Whitaker, 11, were shot in the chest and head Sunday, according to the State Medical Examiner's Office.
"We have no solid suspect information," OSBI Agent Ben Ross said at 2 p.m. news conference. "We have no person of interest. We have nobody we can put a finger on. We've received phone calls and we're looking into those leads."
Taylor's grandfather, Peter Placker, found the girls about of a mile from their home after the girls went for a walk Sunday evening and didn't return. Placker went looking for the girls after Taylor couldn't be reached on her cell phone. Placker used Taylor's cell phone to place a 911call, Ross said.
Authorities were notified about 5:40 p.m. Sunday and spent most of Sunday night looking for evidence.
Ross said shell casings were found at the scene, as well as tire tracks and footprints. Ross would not release the caliber of the gun believed to have been used in the shooting. The girls had walked to a bridge along the dirt road, which is a popular gathering place for residents in the rural county, which is about 90 miles east of Oklahoma City.
"We're not sure whether it was somebody passing by," Ross said. "It's an active area for people to throw from the bridge, shoot from the bridge."
Ross said the road, while remote, the road gets a fair amount of local traffic. The investigation so far has been focused on people who may live in the area or be familiar with the country roads.
"It's not likely someone pulled of the interstate or the highway and just stopped there," Ross said. "It's possible they went to meet somebody, or interrupted something or maybe it was a personal attack."
The OSBI this morning announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the shootings. Ross said the reward could increase as the OSBI gets calls of people wanting to donate. America's Most Wanted will also be doing a segment on the slaying, he said.
Autopsies performed Monday on the girls show that they had been shot in the head and chest, said Kevin Rowland, chief medical examiner. Rowland did not release any other details. The girls were found wearing T-shirts and shorts.
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