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. "They’re a little nervous; not as trusting.” Locals describe the lack of information from authorities as both frightening and disheartening. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown, Caddo County District Attorney Bret Burns and Miller have all declined to the discuss the details of the case. The silence, in turn, has seemingly sparked a whirlwind of rumors — rumors Miller calls "harmful to the case.” "Seems to me like the public would be better served if we knew something,” said Lawrence Nuckols, also a lifelong Anadarko resident. "How are we supposed to help? Guess we’re not. Right now everyone is afraid of the unknown.” Nuckols, 71, lives in the shadow of Daniels’ church, which is just 90 feet from his front porch. He looked over his left shoulder at the rear of the church and asked, "What kind of monster would do such a thing?” Murder is not unheard of in Anadarko, but hardly common. Daniels’ death marked the second homicide in Anadarko this year. "People are scared and understandably,” said Gene Cain, Caddo County sheriff. "We’re just asking people to be vigilant, and to report anything suspicious. We’ve even started doing extra patrols out in the county.”
NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.