Has Weleetka case gone ‘cold?’

BY JOHNNY JOHNSON Modified: November 16, 2008 at 8:02 am •  Published: November 16, 2008
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WEELETKA — Last week, CNN’s Nancy Grace profiled the killings of two Weleetka-area schoolgirls as a "cold case,” but investigators insist the case is nowhere near cold and not in danger of being shelved anytime soon.

"It becomes a cold case when we have no more leads to run,” said Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown. "And we’ve still got leads to run, and the head agent is confident this will be solved.”

Brown said agents are running "good leads,” but she also admits they have followed good leads before without much result.

It’s been five months since 11-year old Skyla Whitaker and 13-year old Taylor Placker were shot to death by two different guns on an isolated county road near Taylor’s house.

In the early stages of the investigation, OSBI agents and the Okfuskee County sheriff’s office mounted an around-the-clock operation, interviewed hundreds of witnesses, released a sketch of an American Indian man who may have seen something, and announced a reward of more than $30,000.

No new facts emerge

Investigators have not announced any suspects or motive.

Hoping for new leads in the case in late July, authorities released the emotional 911 tape of Taylor’s grandmother’s call to the sheriff’s office.

In late August, OSBI agents sent out about 60 letters to registered owners of .40-caliber Glock handguns, asking them to submit their weapons for testing. About 40 submitted their weapons, five said they no longer owned the guns, and about 15 didn’t show up. The agency said they would be contacting the 15 who did not respond.


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HOW TO HELP

Information sought

Anyone who has information about the June 8 shooting deaths of Taylor Placker and Skyla Whitaker is asked to contact the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation hot line at (800) 522-8017 or the Crime Stoppers tip line at (800) 635-8477.

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