WELEETKA — Investigators have talked to a witness who reportedly saw Taylor Dawn Paschal-Placker, 13, and Skyla Jade Whitaker, 11, walking down an Okfuskee County road just before they were shot Sunday night, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent Ben Rosser said today.
Rosser said at an afternoon news briefing that a handful of people have been interviewed and in some cases, polygraph tests were administered.
Investigators are continuing to interview people in connection with the killing of the two girls in rural Okfuskee County, Rosser said. But so far, no arrests have been made and investigators are still trying to determine the motive in the shooting deaths.
Rosser said the information gained didn't add much to the criminal investigation, but did help establish a timeline.
"We're looking for people who may have seen something out of the ordinary," he said.
Investigators have received numerous tips, but many haven't panned out, Rosser said.
Earlier today, the road where the girls were found was blocked off as investigators comb the crime scene again. Agents could be seen using global positioning devices and aircraft was used to survey the area, Rosser said. The road is expected to be closed for much of the afternoon.
In total, 14 investigators are working on the case, he said. Airplanes have also been used to comb the ditch and surrounding fields were the girls were found.
Taylor and Skyla were found shot to death in a ditch along a dirt road less than a mile from Taylor's home Sunday evening. They had gunshot wounds to the head and chest, according to the State Medical Examiner's Office.
Results from ballistics tests yesterday confirmed that two guns were used in the slaying, said Jessica Brown, OSBI spokeswoman.
Yesterday, investigators said the bridge is a common gathering place for teens, and it's also common for people to shoot or throw things from the bridge. Investigators say their search for suspects is focusing on people who live in the area, or might be familiar with county roads there.
Taylor, a sixth grader at Graham school, and Skyla, a fifth grader at the same rural school, left Taylor's home to walk down to the bridge Sunday evening. When they did not return and Taylor could not be reached on her cell phone, her grandfather Peter Placker went looking for the girls. He discovered their bodies in the ditch.
Both girls were fully clothed when they were found, and so far there is nothing to indicate that they had been assaulted, investigators have said.
Agents are hoping a $25,000 reward might bring forth information in the killings. Local banks contributed $5,000 towards the reward. The OSBI and U.S. Marshals have contributed $10,000 a piece.
Funeral services for the girls will be Friday.