Anadarko still dazed by pastor’s brutal slaying

| November 30, 2009

ANADARKO — The silence grows louder in Anadarko.

Three months have passed since the Rev. Carol Daniels, 61, was found dead, nude and mutilated behind the altar of her tiny Christ Holy Sanctified Church, yet state investigators have made no arrests. Nor have they held a news conference to update the public on the investigation in this Caddo County city of 6,300 people.

"People still call us, wanting to know if we’ve heard anything new,” Carolyn McBride, editor of the Anadarko Daily News, said of the Aug. 23 slaying.

McBride and her staff have been covering the case under trying circumstances, working out of a makeshift office since a fire destroyed their building on Aug. 22. Authorities say the two events appear to be unrelated.

"They’re still concerned,” said McBride, referring to the townspeople and the investigation. "But it’s really hard because we can’t tell them anything new. Nobody is telling us a thing.”

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown said that is because there "isn’t much to say.”

"It’s an open and ongoing investigation, and we’re doing everything we know to do to catch the person so we can prosecute this case,” Brown said.

So does Anadarko Mayor Jerry Marcum. He said he clearly sees the residue of fear lingering in his community.

"Folks are still uneasy,” Marcum said.

"Nobody knows what’s going on. This was a heinous murder — a pastor in a church. That’s supposed to be a safe place. I know people are concerned because there are still a lot of questions.

"I just tell people, ‘Don’t give up.’ The Big Guy is still on our side.”

Anadarko Police Chief David Edwards did not return messages left by The Oklahoman.

Pastor Randy Robertson of First Baptist Church said there are still a few members of his congregation who have not returned to church since the slaying.

"There is still a climate of fear, but not as much as it was in the beginning,” Robertson said. "I’d say life has gotten back to normal, but it’s still in the background — people are still concerned. Nobody knows anything. I just refuse to live in a climate of fear.”

Kermit Gaines, who owns a restaurant on Anadarko’s east side, said residents have not forgotten.

"People still talk a lot,” Gaines said. "I don’t think it’s so much fear as much as it was just such a heinous deal. We just try to keep the family in our prayers, and they will find some justice.”

Anyone with information can call the OSBI at (800) 522-8017.

A $10,000 reward is offered for any information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

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Category: Church Security

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