Reward In Weleetka Killings Now At $160,000

Thursday, July 30th 2009, 11:27 am
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

WELEETKA, OK -- The reward offered for information leading to the arrest for those responsible for murdering two Oklahoma girls has been increased significantly.  Last summer, 13-year-old Taylor Placker and 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker were gunned down near Weleetka.   On Thursday, an anonymous donor added $70,000 and two Tulsa-area oil companies added $50,000 growing the reward to $160,000.

But, there is a catch.  The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says if you have information, you do not have time to waste.

"Many people feel like they can't do much, but they want to do something and that's why today we're happy to tell you that several Tulsa area oilmen have come forward wanting to donate money," said OSBI's Jessica Brown.

 "We just thought the greed of these people, whoever would know that they might come forward and raising the reward substantially could make a difference," said Lee Levinson with LPD Energy Corp.

However, the staggering reward sum is only good for 90 days.

"I think that's plenty of time for that person or people who have the information to come forward. We know there is someone out there who has it. That's a given. We know they are out there," said OSBI's Jessica Brown.

"There's no amount of money that can save a human life and we really want to pay that reward money," said Lee Levinson with LPD Energy Corp.

Taylor Paschal-Placker, 13, and 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker were gunned down June 8th, 2008, along a dirt road in rural Okfuskee County, about 70 miles south of Tulsa.

No arrests have been made in the case and authorities still are searching for a motive.   Residents of the small, but tight knit town were stunned by the murders. But, they are grateful for anything that may help solve the crime.

 "I think it will help.  I really think it will help. If it was locally, I really think someone would have already come forward. But, I don't know.  I honestly don't know anyone that could commit a crime like that," said Alan Adkins of Weleetka.

OSBI's Jessica Brown says leads in the case continue to come in and the investigation is moving forward.  She says it's far from being a cold case.

Anyone with information is urged to call the statewide hotline at 1-800-635-8477.