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Reward in Weleetka slaying spurs rise in calls

JOHNNY JOHNSON Published: August 7, 2009
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WELEETKA — The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has received a large number of "not-so-valuable” tips since a reward was increased in the case of last summer’s shooting deaths of two girls near Weleetka.

"We did get some tips that were looked into, and some that continue to be reviewed,” inspector Steve Neuman said. "But at the same time, we got a lot of not-so-valuable tips.”

A coalition of Tulsa-area oilmen last week helped increase the reward offered in the killing of Skyla Whitaker, 11, and Taylor Placker, 13, from $40,000 to $160,000.

Neuman said the news did generate new information, "leads that we had not heard before,” he said. "Whether those will pan out, we don’t know. But we did get some new information that on the surface seems promising, but as we dig a little deeper it starts to fall to pieces.”

Some of the most promising tips didn’t take investigators anywhere, Neuman said. But other tips are being reviewed in greater detail.

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