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Investigators searching for person of interest

By John David Sutter Modified: June 13, 2008 at 5:13 pm •  Published: June 13, 2008
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Rosser said the fact that the girls were shot in such a remote place leads him to believe any suspects would come from this area of east central Oklahoma, about 90 miles east of Oklahoma City. He also said the killer or killers may have ties to this part of the state.

Skyla Whitaker, 11, and Taylor Paschal-Placker, 13, were shot in the head and chest Sunday night near Taylor's home, northeast of Weleetka. The girls apparently were taking a late afternoon walk when they were killed.

Rosser made a point of saying that investigators have not become desperate in their search, and may return to the crime scene on the dirt road today. Yesterday, officials made GPS maps of the site from helicopters.

"It's not out of desperation," he said. "I call it just being thorough."

Area residents have been locking their kids inside and watching their backs, fearing a killer is on the loose. Rosser would not answer questions about whether that situation makes him feel pressure to name a suspect soon.

Rosser spoke to the media from a command center in the Okfuskee County Courthouse. Black-and-white photocopies of evidence — a boot print in the dirt road, for instance — were taped to the wall. Most of the evidence was covered from public viewing. Rosser had drawn a map of the country road, and the bridge near where the girls were shot, on a marker board in the fourth-floor office. Investigators pecked on laptops.

Rosser said they were taking calls on leads. They've gotten 200 so far, he said, adding that the number is growing. The OSBI is offering a $30,000 reward for information that leads to a suspect in the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call the OSBI hot line at (800) 522-8017.

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