Double murder is high profile, high pressure for police

Modified: June 12, 2008 at 1:09 am •  Published: June 12, 2008
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Detectives investigating high-profile child slayings face intense pressure.

"The case grabs everyone's attention immediately,” said Oklahoma City police homicide Detective Cris Cunningham. "The interest that these cases generate is so much more magnified.”

And much of that pressure comes from the sheer horror of seeing innocent children who were senselessly slain.

"You do your job,” said homicide Inspector Kyle Eastridge. "You're professional. But it bothers you. If it doesn't bother you, I don't know, there's something wrong with you.”

Cunningham and Eastridge are not investigating the Weleetka slayings of Taylor Dawn Paschal-Placker, 13, and Skyla Jade Whitaker, 11.

Aside from the external pressures, child death cases are little different from other homicides, Cunningham said.

"Our goal is not to rush to judgment and put someone in jail,” she said. "Our goal is to do a complete and thorough investigation that finds the person responsible for the crime, sends that person to jail, gets them convicted ... and then withstands the scrutiny of all the appeals down the road.”

How are slayings investigated?
Homicide cases usually involve two parallel lines of inquiry, Eastridge said. Guest book: Taylor Dawn Paschal-Placker Guest book: Skyla Jade Whitaker

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