Weleetka witnesses face grand jury

By Nolan Clay and Johnny Johnson Modified: September 4, 2008 at 1:14 am •  Published: September 4, 2008
© Copyright 2008, The Oklahoman

Three men who have come under suspicion in the fatal shootings near Weleetka testified Wednesday before a state grand jury.

Two other witnesses failed to appear. The grand jury's judge ordered them arrested.

Agents at the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation turned to the multicounty grand jury for help solving one of the state's most painful murder mysteries — the deaths of friends Taylor Placker, 13, and Skyla Whitaker, 11.

The girls were shot 13 times June 8 on a dirt road between Okmulgee and Okfuskee counties.

"I just wish they would catch whoever done it so they would leave me alone,” said one witness, Toney Kelough, 30, who must return today to finish testifying. "I've told them the same thing over and over again.”

Investigators also may have some type of DNA evidence in the case. Some people have been asked to give DNA samples, The Oklahoman has learned.

Grand jurors are meeting at the Oklahoma County courthouse and the testimony is not public.

The involvement of the grand jury does not necessarily mean criminal charges are imminent. Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors often use the grand jury to gather evidence.

Testifying first Wednesday was OSBI Agent Ben Rosser, the lead investigator on the case since the inception.

Rosser said grand jury rules prevent him from discussing anything to do with the grand jury or his testimony.

"Name, rank and serial number,” he said. "That's all I can give you today.”

The witnesses:
Dustyn Dailey
Dailey, 18, testified the longest Wednesday — about two hours. He was taken before the grand jury in shackles and wearing jail clothes with black and gray stripes.

Afterward, Dailey, who uses the nickname "Spud,” would not comment to The Oklahoman about the two Graham School girls case.

Dailey attended Graham School in the ninth grade until his family moved to Henryetta.

He is jailed in Okmulgee County on a second-degree burglary charge. He is accused of breaking into a home Aug.

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Taylor Placker and Skyla Whitaker

What happened?
On June 8, Taylor Placker and Skyla Whitaker were finishing a sleep over at Taylor's house on County Line Road, about seven miles northeast of Weleetka.

About 5 p.m., the two girls left to go on a walk to Bad Creek bridge, about one-half mile north of the house.

At 5:30 p.m., Taylor's grandfather found the girls' bullet-ridden bodies. His wife frantically called 911.

The crime scene
The girls were shot 13 times. Investigators said they appeared to have walked to the bridge and were returning home when they were killed. Bullet casings, footprints and tire tracks were found.

Investigators said two different caliber guns were used. One was a .40 caliber Glock. The make of the second weapon has not been released. Due to the two guns used, authorities said they believed they were looking for at least two suspects. Because of the remote locations of the shootings, authorities said they believed the gunmen were local residents.

The first person of interest
On the day of the girls' funerals, the OSBI revealed agents were looking for a witness/person of interest described as an American Indian man with a long pony tail. He was said to be wearing a ball cap and driving a white pickup. The OSBI said witnesses saw the man on the road the day the girls were killed.

The man was never identified and authorities never received further credible information about him.

Recent developments
A few weeks ago, the OSBI sent about 60 letters to registered owners of .40 caliber Glock handguns in the area, asking them to submit their weapons for testing. About 40 gun owners submitted their weapons, five said they no longer owned the guns, and about 15 didn't show up as requested.The agency said they would be contacting the 15 who did not respond.

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