Sheriff Dwight Woodrell Investigation Continues


Friday, October 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


PAWNEE, Okla. (AP) _ Investigators denied reports on Thursday that an arrest had been made in the shooting death of Pawnee County Sheriff Dwight Woodrell Jr.

``That's just untrue,'' Kym Koch, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, said of reports that someone had been apprehended and had confessed to killing Woodrell, 36.

Several people have been questioned about Saturday's fatal shooting and some have been arrested on unrelated charges, Koch said.

``But no one has been arrested or charged in connection with Sheriff Woodrell's case,'' she said.

Investigators searched a pickup truck at a Tulsa motel, where four people who were questioned were staying.

District Attorney Larry Stuart, who prosecutes for Pawnee and Osage counties, said the four were not involved in the case and ``nothing material'' was discovered in the truck.

Koch said investigators need more leads and she encouraged anyone with information to contact the OSBI, Pawnee County Sheriff's Office or other law enforcement agencies. But she said reports like the ones released Thursday can hamper the investigation.

``It's possible someone in the public will misinterpret that a suspect has been caught and decide not to come forward with information,'' she said.

Woodrell was shot early Saturday while investigating suspicious activity at Spess Drilling Co., a business along U.S. 64 west of Cleveland.

More than 2,000 people attended his funeral on Wednesday.

A reward fund has been set up at the Security Bank branches in Pawnee and Tulsa for information leading to the arrest or conviction of the person responsible for Woodrell's death.

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Donations can be sent to the Security Bank, P.O. Box 70, Pawnee, OK 74058; or Security Bank, P.O. Box 471316, Tulsa, OK 74147.