OKEMAH — Tape of the 911 call made last week shortly after the gunshot deaths of two young girls won't be released, an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman said today.
Jessica Brown said tape of the call made by the grandfather of one of the girls will not be released because the tape was "very emotional," and would not advance investigation into the deaths of 13-year-old Taylor Paschal-Placker and 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker. She also said the OSBI was withholding it at the request of family members who said they did not want to relive the moments surrounding the call.
The bodies of were found eight days ago on the side of a secluded dirt road, just 300 yards from Taylor's house.
Brown also said there would be no daily media briefings beginning Tuesday unless there are developments in the case.
Although the daily press conferences were ending, Brown said, the investigation was still an around-the-clock operation, and that investigators were still following up on hundreds of leads and would continue to interview and re-interview witnesses as new information was presented.
Armed with "new information" after weekend roadblocks and questioning neighbors, investigators spent much of Monday re-interviewing friends and family members who were closest to the girls, Brown said.
"Everybody surrounding the two children are part of the questioning," she said.
As for the mystery man with the long ponytail who may have seen the girls before they were shot, Brown said her agency has received a lot of phone calls but authorities have not been able to find this "witness" or "person of interest."
He is described as an American Indian, about 6 feet tall, with black hair and a pony tail. He was driving a white Ford or Chevrolet single cab pickup with chrome stripping and an Oklahoma license tag. A composite drawing of the man was released last week.
"We don't know where he is right now," she said. "If we knew, we'd be talking to him right now. I don't know if he's afraid to come forward," Brown said. "But he doesn't need to be."
Investigators say the man was seen standing near the pickup around the time and place the girls were shot.
"It's paramount we find this person as quickly as possible," Brown said.
Contributing: The Associated Press