ANADARKO — Darkness descended on Anadarko’s residents last week in the very place where light should be shining its brightest. Now a strong residue of fear is left in this Caddo County community.
The nightmare began about noon Aug. 23 when police found the mutilated and bloodied body of the Rev. Carol Daniels inside the Christ Holy Sanctified Church. Sources said Daniels’ body had been placed in a crucifix position behind the church altar, and a state Medical Examiner’s report showed she had been savagely cut in the throat, back and chest.
Hardly lost on locals is one other chilling fact: The killing happened a half block from the Anadarko Police Department.
"A half block from the police department,” said Leonard Miller, 68 and a lifelong Anadarko resident. "A half block.”
Miller grew up in the predominantly black neighborhood where the tiny white-painted church is located and had known Daniels for several years.
He shook his head in disgust.
"Who would do such a thing?” Miller bemoaned. "In a church? On a Sunday? In broad daylight? A half block from the police station? Who?
"We have old ladies who are afraid to be out at dusk. People are staying home and locking their doors. Churches are locking their doors. Churches don’t lock doors.”
Life has changed in Anadarko.
"The demeanor of people has definitely changed around here,” said Capt. Dwaine Miller, an 18-year veteran of the Anadarko Police Department.