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New sketch fuels hope in slayings

By John David Sutter Modified: June 14, 2008 at 5:58 pm •  Published: June 14, 2008

Little else has been said about the case. That's led to a swirl of rumors in Okemah, with some saying the girls must have walked up on a drug deal gone wrong, and others speculating that a disturbed person shot them for no reason.

An unanswered question
The central unanswered question in the case is why the girls were killed. With no apparent motive in the killings, many locals wonder aloud about that issue. So far, they haven't had much help finding an answer.

At a news conference Friday, Brown expressed a new level of optimism about the case.

The case is "absolutely solvable,” she said. "We're gonna find 'em. It's just a matter of time.”

Authorities continue to speculate that the killer or killers were local residents. But Friday morning, OSBI Special Agent Ben Rosser said authorities are expanding their investigation to include Oklahoma City, Seminole and Tulsa. At least 14 agents are working the case near Weleetka, Brown said.

What are residents saying?
Calvin Winn, 29, who lives in a trailer just over a mile from the site of the shootings, said he still won't let his four young children away from home. They stay inside and flip between TV news about the case and cartoons. Friday's news offers some hope for a more normal life, he said, and it is nice to be able to feel like you can do something to help.

"It gives me an idea of who to look for now, or to watch for,” he said. "We'll maybe help find this guy — see him and give police a tip.”

Dale Crawford, 72, said he thinks authorities will find the killer or killers. But gaps in the case still worry him.

"They haven't even got a motive or anything, have they?” he asked.

Shauna Nelson said she hasn't slept well since Sunday. She is the mother of twin 3-year-olds, a boy and a girl, and a 9-year-old daughter. Her husband, Cody Nelson, 29, said he's startled by every noise outside their house, which is less than a mile from where the girls were found shot dead.

"You can't let your guard down,” he said. "You can't relax.”

But still, he added, "It does feel good to have something new.” has disabled the comments for this article.

•The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is offering a $30,000 reward — collected partly from donations from around the world — 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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