Police receive leads about Oklahoma City pastor’s slaying

| August 27, 2009

ANADARKO — Investigators interviewed a woman Thursday about a break-in at a house she owns next to the Christ Holy Sanctified Church, where the Rev. Carol Daniels was killed Sunday morning.

Alicia Theif told The Oklahoman the break-in happened last month.

"We own the lots next door to the church,” Theif said while waiting to speak to investigators at the Anadarko Police Department. "I thought it might have something to do with the murder.”

Tips such as Theif’s have been flowing into the police station since Daniels’ cut and bloodied body was found Sunday around noon, police Capt. Dwaine Miller said. The 18-year veteran of the Anadarko police force said he has personally fielded "about eight tips a day” since Sunday’s homicide.

"We’re tracking down every lead,” Miller said. "I want the public to know we’re doing everything we can to solve this crime. Right now we’re just looking at a lot of information – any information. We have no suspects. We have no idea who did this.

"We’ve canvassed the neighborhood. We’ve talked to a lot of people, but we have not physically detained anyone and brought them in for questioning.”

One of the best pieces of evidence might be video surveillance of the area captured between 10 a.m. and noon — the window of time in which Daniels was killed, Caddo County District Attorney Bret Burns said. Daniels arrived at the church about 10 a.m. after driving 60 miles from her Oklahoma City home.

Authorities have sent the video to an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation lab for enhancement.

Leonard Miller, 68, of Anadarko remembered Daniels as a "sweet lady” who occasionally spoke at his Greater First Baptist Church. Miller said he often stopped by the church.

"I’d go by there from time to time and we’d visit,” said Miller, who is no relation to Capt. Dwaine Miller. "Of course, the church door was always unlocked.”

Authorities remain tightlipped about the crime scene, and whether they think it was a ritualistic killing.

The state Medical Examiner said she died from multiple sharp-force injuries, and a source close to the investigation said her body was "staged.”

Jack Levin, a professor of sociology and criminology at Northeastern University in Boston, said the staging generally indicates a killer wants attention.

"He knows that by staging the victim’s body, that it will freak out a population of people, terrify them,” Levin said. "I saw part of the crime scene,” Dwaine Miller said. "Every crime scene is horrific, but this is something I’ve never seen before. It’s puzzling.”

Contributing: Associated Press

 

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