Questions remain in some high-profile Oklahoma homicide and fire cases

A number of questions remain unanswered in some high-profile homicide and fire cases in Oklahoma.
BY ANDREW KNITTLE aknittle@opubco.com Published: January 2, 2012

What caused the grass fire remains unclear.

In the blaze's aftermath, authorities said another fire — started by someone using a weed trimmer — had been contained earlier, but it was unlikely that one had started back up.

Marc Woodard, the department's deputy fire chief, said arson investigators still are looking into the blaze.

“We don't have a cause yet,” Woodard said.

Missing family

A family of three who told their minister they were struggling with demons and spirits haunting their lakeside home vanished in October 2009 in the Sans Bois Mountain range in southeastern Oklahoma.

Bobby and Sherilyn Jamison, of Eufaula, and their daughter, Madyson, 6, were seen last Oct. 9 while looking for a piece of land that was for sale in the isolated area, according to a local resident.

Eight days later, the family's pickup was found abandoned at a well site northwest of Red Oak.

The couple and Madyson were gone, but the family dog was locked in the truck, clinging to life.

According to police, the keys were in the ignition, and there were no signs of a struggle.

Items found in the truck included a cellphone, a GPS unit, clothing and about $32,000 in cash underneath the driver's seat.

Authorities launched a massive search for the missing family.

Israel Beauchamp, former sheriff of Latimer County, told The Oklahoman in May 2010 that his department had received help from the FBI, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and private investigators.

“What happened to them after that is a mystery,” he said.

“Will we ever find them? I sure hope so.”

Connie Kokotan, Sherilyn Jamison's mother, had a more definitive theory.

“I think someone killed them,” Kokotan told The Oklahoman in 2010.

“And they're still up there.”

Mitchell homicide

On Nov. 2, 2010, a woman's badly beaten body was found inside a closet inside the northwest Oklahoma City home she shared with her husband and child.

Julie Mitchell, 34, was found by her stepson. Her 13-month-old daughter was found unharmed next to her body in a pool of blood.

Documents show that Mitchell's body was found about 10:30 p.m. inside the master bedroom. The state medical examiner concluded that she died of blunt force trauma to the head. An autopsy report showed she had four front teeth missing, a broken rib, a shattered skull and 25 large cuts to her scalp.

Mitchell also suffered a broken nose and jaw in the attack that ended her life, the report shows.

Her husband, Teddy Mitchell, was traveling to California when the body was discovered.

Teddy Mitchell, who police have implicated in illegal gambling activities, was called to give testimony before a multicounty grand jury.

The man's sons and others were called, as well, but no indictments have been handed down.


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