|| Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation
A. DeWade Langley
Public Information Director
06/17/08 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Okfuskee County Murder Synopsis
Sunday, June 8, 2008, 13-year-old Taylor Placker and 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker were shot and killed on a dirt road in Okfuskee County. The best friends had spent the previous night at Placker’s rural home near Weleetka. Before Whitaker was to go home, the two decided to make one last trip to a nearby bridge -- a popular hangout for young people in the area. Shortly after they left Placker’s home, Whitaker’s mother called announcing she was on her way to pick up her daughter. Placker’s grandfather tried to call the girls via cell phone to ask them to return home. The girls did not answer. Placker’s grandfather then walked down the dirt road to find them. Minutes later, he discovered the girls dead along side the road and called for help.
The Okfuskee County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene shortly after the 9-1-1 call made by a family member of Placker’s. The sheriff requested OSBI help with the investigation. Since then, more than a dozen OSBI special agents have been assigned to the case and have run on hundreds of leads. During the many interviews conducted by agents, several people revealed they saw a Native American male near where the girls were killed. He was standing outside a pickup truck described as a white Ford or Chevy, single cab truck with a narrow strip of chrome down the side. The truck had an Oklahoma license tag. Witnesses described the man as Native American – possibly part Caucasian -- with a long pony tail. He is approximately 6 feet tall with a slender build. OSBI Forensic Artist Harvey Pratt met with the witnesses and has drawn a composite sketch of the person. OSBI believes he was at the scene minutes before the two girls were shot and killed. Agents want to interview him for possible leads in the case.
During the early stages of the investigation, OSBI learned two different caliber weapons were used on both girls. That could indicate two or more shooters are involved. OSBI agents and investigators with the sheriff’s office and district attorney’s office have interviewed hundreds of people and are in the process of re-interviewing family members to determine if they can remember anything more.
At the scene, OSBI crime scene agents collected several pieces of possible evidence in the case. Those items have been transported to the OSBI Forensic Science Center for analysis.
A reward in excess of $30,000 is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for these murders. If anyone has information, they should call either the OSBI hotline at 1-800-522-8017 or the Okfuskee County Sheriff’s Office.