9 Years Later, Evidence Revealed In The Murder Of Anadarko Pastor
ANADARKO, Oklahoma - A small town murder mystery has gripped the state for years.
A pastor's mutilated body was found in the sanctuary of her church in Anadarko. A first look at the evidence and find out why nine years later, this case remains unsolved.
"She was here to minister to people."
The Christ Holy Sanctified Church seemed like the perfect place for Carol Daniels to minister to lost souls.
There were no regular services, still, Reverend Daniels would make the sixty mile drive from Oklahoma City every Sunday, eager to serve, and hopefully save.
"She was a sweet lady."
But on August 23, 2009, retired Bishop Silkey Wilson Jr. knew something wasn't right.
"We couldn't get no attention, nobody would come to the door," said Bishop Silkey Wilson Jr.
An officer arrived, looked in through the open side door and immediately called for backup.
"The inflection in his voice, I knew something was wrong," said Anadarko Police detective James Howard.
James Howard is still haunted by the sight of Pastor Daniels' brutalized body behind the pulpit.
"In your mind, you think, how could anybody do this to another person much less someone who is down there serving God," said Detective James Howard.
Daniels had been stabbed multiple times, her head nearly severed, her hair set on fire and her nude body posed, some say, as if on a crucifix.
"There's several theories involved," said District Attorney Jason Hicks.
Hicks says investigators eventually, agreed it was a foiled robbery -- where the suspects, likely looking for drug money, took something more valuable -- forensic evidence, her clothes and the murder weapon have never been recovered.
"No," said Jason Hicks.
Investigators say only this never-before-aired surveillance video seems to provide evidence of something suspicious, a blurry figure wearing all white and plenty of potential witnesses.
"You would hear the scuttlebutt around town, that we know who did this and we know it was these two people," said Jason Hicks.
The two in question were violent drug dealers, people were afraid to come forward.
Finally, in 2015, a woman offered a potential break.
"She actually witnesses suspect number two with a black blouse, a knife had blood on it," said Jason Hicks.
He says she claimed the evidence had been burned in this shed, but not only did a search come up empty, the woman died a few days later.
Investigators pressed the suspects.
Investigator: "Did you participate in the killing of Daniels?"
And in 2017, the multi-county grand jury took up the case.
But then another setback, the main suspect, Denise 'Darnell' Cooper, died of cancer, before grand jurors could hear her testimony.
"I knew what it meant. We wouldn't get an indictment that most likely we would have to go another avenue to prosecute suspect number two," said DA Jason Hicks.
Other possible witnesses were called, including then, prisoner Kevin Mahan, but he also offered nothing of value, leaving Hicks - and all those who loved Carol Daniels - still searching for justice.
Do you think this case will be solved?
"I look at it this way. It is solved. My question is will we ever be able to bring it to justice and I'm not going to stop trying," said Jason Hicks.
Anyone with information is asked to call the OSBI tipline at 800-522-8017.