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After killings, tragedy links Oklahoma kin of victims

BY RON JACKSON Published: October 4, 2009
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. Ongoing coverage: Anadarko church killing has disabled the comments for this article.


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