How Are Investigators Tracking The Gun Used In Weleetka Murders?

Friday, October 14th 2011, 6:22 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Investigators might be tracking a lead in the Weleetka murders. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced this week; they're looking for a specific gun that might have been sold in Tulsa this past march.

So how could they know which gun was involved, without having it? There's a technology that is essentially ballistic fingerprinting, that can compare a gun to a bullet casing and make a match that stands up in court.

It was three years ago this past summer when someone shot and killed two young girls in Okfuskee County, outside Weleetka.

The murder of 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker and 13-year-old Taylor Paschal Placker remains unsolved. In the last few months, the OSBI has revealed some details of the case to generate new leads.

The latest is the identification of the possible murder weapon, down to the serial number. It's a Glock .40 caliber, model 22, serial number EKG-463-US. The OSBI is offering a $5,000 reward for the weapon.

Investigators believe it was sold in March at a guns show in Tulsa. The OSBI can't track the gun past this point because at gun shows, most sales are largely undocumented transactions between individuals.

10/13/2011 Releated Story: Tulsa Gun Owner May Have Weapon Used In Weleetka Murders

Licensed dealers keep records of who buys what - but otherwise the paper trail runs out after the first sale of a new gun.

The OSBI won't comment on how they've identified the gun, but it might have been backtracked through "ballistic fingerprinting". Investigators can match shell casings with the gun that fired it, but they need both for the match.

There's a national database of those records for new guns - and that's one way that casings from the crime scene could have been matched to the individual gun investigators believe was involved.

The OSBI is offering up to $5,000 for this firearm. If you have information about this gun, please call the OSBI at 1-800-522-8017.