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For mother, slayings bring back memories

By Ron Jackson Modified: June 12, 2008 at 1:09 am •  Published: June 12, 2008
BRISTOW — Phillis Middleton is haunted daily by her youngest daughter's abduction and strangulation three years ago in Okfuskee County.

Now, painful images of her "9-year-old, blond-haired cutie,” Katie Daylynn, flash in her mind in light of Okfuskee County's latest tragedy — the abduction and fatal shootings Sunday of Taylor Dawn Paschal-Placker, 13, and Skyla Jade Whitaker, 11.

"What kind of crazy world are we living in? Those poor families. I know exactly what they're going through — hell,” she said.

The murders have again left Middleton overwhelmed and depressed.

"My heart goes out to those poor families,” a sobbing Middleton, 34, said Wednesday inside her tiny Bristow apartment. "I heard about the murders on TV, and I turned to my boyfriend, Preston, and said, ‘That's only 20 miles from where my baby was murdered.'”

About the abduction
Katie's abduction occurred nearly three years ago — Aug. 5, 2005 — on a sweltering summer afternoon in Okemah. She was walking to a local grocery store when authorities said she was picked up by William Franklin Dobrovolny, a drifter who had been "living out of his car” between Okemah and Wetumka.

Dobrovolny, then 22, was visiting a sister who lived in a small shack behind the Middletons' house the day Katie disappeared. He strangled Middleton with a rope or cord, then dumped her body near a moss-covered pond on a desolate dirt road southeast of Okemah.

Investigators later found Dobrovolny covered with scratches — marks likely made by Katie as she struggled for her life.

Dobrovolny is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.

"There are days I just don't want to live,” Middleton said. Guest book: Taylor Dawn Paschal-Placker Guest book: Skyla Jade Whitaker

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