OKEMAH – A press conference Monday will not delve into the DNA evidence in the shooting deaths of two girls last summer. The girls’ families, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and the Okfuskee County sheriff and assistant district attorney are scheduled to hold a conference on the one-year anniversary of the deaths of Skyla Whitaker and Taylor Placker. The press briefing will be held at the Okfuskee County Courthouse in Okemah. “There will be no information on DNA evidence. That’s to protect the integrity of the case,” Jessica Brown, OSBI spokeswoman, said today. “I’ve never been able to talk about it.” She said the DNA evidence is not new and she won’t be able to say what type of DNA was found or how it could potentially help solve the case. Skyla, 11, and Taylor, 13, were best friends who went for a short walk June 8, 2008 to a bridge near Taylor’s rural Weleetka home. The girls’ bodies were found about 20 minutes later in a shallow roadside ditch. They had been shot 13 times by two weapons. Brown said the press conference will focus on how much work has gone into the case, such as the approximate items tested and number of tests run. She said the case continues to be a primary one of great concern. “I don’t want folks to think we’ve got this solved,” she said. Investigators have run down hundreds of leads. Brown said they don’t want tips to dry up and they feel confident the pieces will fall into place with the right information. “We’re one good piece of information away from solving this case,” she said. “We’re pleading to the public,” Brown said. “Somebody knows something. We don’t know why they’re holding back but if they would please just come forward.” A more than $30,000 reward is offered to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murders. For information, call the OSBI hotline at 800-522-8017 or go online to www.ok.gov/osbi.
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