Tulsa Police start over in this week's double homicide investigation
Friday, April 7th 2006, 12:16 PM CDT
Family members held a memorial service Friday afternoon for Walter and Grace Brown. The couple was beaten to death inside their Tulsa home on Monday.
Tulsa Police thought they had a strong lead when they learned the victim's card had been used at a Tulsa casino, after her death. They've now learned that was a wild goose chase that wasted many hours of police work.
News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says Walter and Grace Brown were kind people, willing to help anyone. That's why it's especially hard for their family to understand how they could've been so brutally murdered in what looks like a robbery.
Tulsa Police had gone to area casinos to see if anyone had used Walter or Grace's cards after they died. The Creek Casino said someone had used Grace's player's club Monday at 11:15 PM. They found surveillance video from that time and police released it, hoping for identification. That woman came forward and police learned she used her own card and had nothing to do with the case.
Tulsa Police spent dozens of hours at the casino, searching through surveillance tapes, then realized it was all for nothing. Police say Grace's card was not used at the casino Monday night. They say a Creek Casino employee heard the victim's name on the news, then typed it into the computer to see if they'd been customers. When police later arrived and asked if there was any activity under those names, it popped up yes.
Tulsa Police Sgt. Mike Huff: "When you make that entry or inquiry into the computer, it makes the same entry as a card swipe itself. So, we have spent conservatively over 100 man-hours in the last two and a half days, chasing that false lead."
Police now need tips about anything unusual in the Brown's neighborhood on Monday or anyone who's talking about the case. The Brown's son, Joe Brown made the same plea earlier this week. "Anyone who knows anything needs to come forward. This could've been their parents. If people don't start talking, it will be their parents."
Justice is the only thing the family has left, as they desperately need it, to get through this terrible loss.
Anyone with information about the murders can call Crimestoppers at 596-COPS. You won't be identified and you will earn a cash reward if your tip leads to an arrest.