Man Killed In Ottawa County Home Invasion

Tuesday, March 24th 2009, 11:08 am
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

FAIRLAND, OK -- Rural Ottawa County is rocked by its second home invasion in five days.  This time, the attempted robbery costs a grandfather his life.  It happened early Tuesday morning at a home in Fairland.

Ottawa County Sheriff's deputies say 64-year-old Sam Sanders was found shot to death.  His wife, Sue, had bruises on her arms and face.  Their two teenage grandchildren were inside, spending the night.  Family members say Sue had been duct-taped to a chair.

"They was high school sweethearts. I'm sorry, I've got nothing else to say," said family friend Maryann Cunningham.

"The victims did not get very good descriptions, at this point in time.  So, what OSBI is trying to do, as well as Ottawa County Sheriff's deputies, we're trying to gather evidence inside the home, as well as talk to neighbors and friends, and those individuals to try to get an idea who might have done this," said Jessica Brown with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

The home invasion is the second in Ottawa County in the last five days.

Last Thursday, two men forced their way into a home in rural Miami. Now, two men forced their way into a house in Fairland. This time, there was a casualty. The sheriff's department says the two cases appear to be unrelated, but the news has shaken homeowners to the core.

"I'm going to lock my door. And, there will be a gun loaded in my house," said neighbor Terri Uto.

Terri Uto says Sam Sanders had been spending a lot of time with his grandchildren in his retirement.

"It broke my heart because they're good people. You know, they help people out and stuff. And, they're taking care of their grandchildren. And now, they don't have their grandfather," said neighbor Terri Uto.

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office says the two suspects are men.  They were wearing camouflage clothing, but that's all they know.      

Police believe the men ran from the home because no one saw a getaway car.

3/20/2009  Related Story: Two Sought In Ottawa Co. Home Invasion