WELEETKA — Two months after the bullet-riddled bodies of Taylor Paschal-Placker, 13, and Skyla Whitaker, 11, were found alongside a gravel road, the medical examiner's office has released results of the girls' autopsies. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown said the autopsy results speak to the brutal mindset of the killer. "It tells the public the brutality, the determination of the killer or killers, by shooting the 11-year-old eight times and Taylor five times,” Brown said. Medical examiners found no evidence of sexual trauma to either girl. In all, reports show the girls were shot 13 times, but only one shot left powder burns, according to the report. Dr. Mark McCoy, a former OSBI deputy inspector who now teaches at the University of Central Oklahoma, said powder burns are left when a gun is fired in close proximity of a target. But "close” can mean anything from a few inches to three feet, McCoy said. McCoy also said powder burns do not necessarily mean the victim may know the shooter, because it is extremely difficult to determine what order the shots were made in. The killings occurred June 8 on a county road near Weleetka. Taylor was shot a total of five times, three of which were in the face, one was in the groin and once in her right hand, but according to the report, the shot to the hand could have been one of the same shots that struck her in the head. Two of the shots were ruled potentially fatal. Skyla was shot a total of eight times, including one shot to the neck, and seven spread out widely around the arms and torso.
Were there two shooters?The autopsy also confirms previous reports that the girls were shot with two different caliber weapons. Although the autopsy does not list the caliber or types of bullets found, the report indicates that two different bullets, a medium-size copper-jacketed bullet and a small-size copper-coated bullet, were recovered. Investigators have said the two different calibers could indicate that at least two people were involved. The isolated nature of the crime scene has led them to theorize local people might have been involved. "The autopsy report is only a piece of the investigative puzzle,” McCoy said. "It can provide additional clues for investigators and it can corroborate other evidence at the scene or from witnesses. "In order to reconstruct a crime or crime scene you need to have all the pieces of the investigative puzzle.”
No motive determinedAuthorities still have no suspects and no identified motive. OSBI agent Ben Rosser said he did not have time Friday afternoon to discuss what the autopsy reports might mean because he was getting ready to go out to conduct additional interviews in the case. The details came one day after the best friends would have started school. Taylor would have been going into the seventh grade, and Skyla would have spent her first day of school as a sixth-grader.
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