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Town tries to find normalcy

By Johnny Johnson Modified: June 17, 2008 at 7:53 pm •  Published: June 17, 2008
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Jaki Martin, with First Baptist Church in Dustin, a few miles south of the Graham school that Skyla and Taylor attended, said she was having a similar reaction with vacation Bible school this week. She said she was hoping for a good turnout nevertheless."It starts this evening,” Martin said Monday afternoon. "So we're really not sure what's going to happen, but we talked to some parents who had some concerns last week.”

Martin said she knew that the girls' deaths would affect life around the area for a long time, and that this week people are living in a world that's suddenly much different.

But, she said, people in the area will move forward.

"People here know each other and they know us,” she said. "They know we are going to watch their kids, and if they want to show up and sit through it and help us watch them, then that's fine too.”

Weak clues concern kin
Armed with some new information but "nothing solid” from weekend roadblocks, investigators spent much of Monday re-interviewing friends and family members, said Jessica Brown, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman.

"Everybody surrounding the two children are part of the questioning,” she said.

Brown said while her agency has received many phone calls about the "mystery man” with the long ponytail who may have seen the girls before they were shot, he has not been found.

The man is described as an American Indian, about 6 feet tall, with black hair and a pony tail. He is about 35 years old, and was driving a white Ford or Chevrolet single-cab pickup with chrome stripping and an Oklahoma license tag.

"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 his pickup around the time and place the girls were shot.

Eight days after the shootings, police still did not have a suspect or a motive. Some victims' family members were beginning to lose hope that a killer would be caught.

"I hope they're not at a dead end,” said Joe Mosher, Taylor's uncle. "It's been a week, and they have nothing. We're starting to worry.”

Contributing: Staff Writer John David Sutter and The Associated Press

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Eldon Kelough talks about how Weleetka is trying to get back to normal after the slayings of Taylor Paschal-Placker and her friend Skyla Whitaker. BY David McDaniel, THE OKLAHOMAN

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