Clues Still Needed In Cherokee County Murders

Monday, December 29th 2008, 6:49 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

CHEROKEE COUNTY, OK -- Investigators say they're still pursuing leads in the double-murder of a Cherokee County couple last Christmas.  They also have some new details about what happened in the moments before the killings.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation last week renewed a $5,000 reward for information about the killings of Jack and Elaine Denney.  Even a year after the murders, investigators say the murders keep them up at night.

Jack Chennault says this case still haunts him

"It's something that I think about every single day," said Cherokee County Undersheriff Jack Chennault.

He says he still can't figure out why someone would murder Jack and Elaine Denney, a retired couple in their mid-60s.

"They helped people.  Everyone liked them.  Like I said, they were the grandparents of the neighborhood. There was no reason for this to happen, and that's what's so hard to wrap our heads around," said Cherokee County Undersheriff Jack Chennault.

OSBI agents say the Jack and Elaine Denney had no financial troubles.  Nothing was stolen or missing from the house.  And, there were no signs of forced entry.

The bodies were discovered Christmas Day when the couple's daughter and grandkids came to drop off presents.  Authorities believe the murders happened the day before.

Chennault says the couple had been sitting at the kitchen table, with food cooking on the stove when they were shot.  The couple's tear-away calendar had the date December 24th.

No arrests have been made, but OSBI is keeping the reward going.  Chennault says they have plenty of good leads, but someone with key details hasn't come forward.  He says that somebody is out there.

"If just doing the right thing doesn't motivate them, then maybe the money will. And, we'll get them paid.  We just need that piece of evidence that'll help us," said Cherokee County Undersheriff Jack Chennault.

The OSBI says they had to renew the reward because it expires every 90 days.  The latest renewal is the third time that has happened.