Tulsa Beating Death Still Under Investigation

Wednesday, November 22nd 2006, 6:03 am
By: News On 6

Detectives continue to investigate Tulsa's 54th homicide of the year.

It all started when officers responded to a Tulsa home early Friday morning where a man reported said he had killed someone. Tulsa Police found plenty of blood, but no body or suspect, until later in the morning on Friday.

News on 6 anchor Tami Marler says one thing we know for sure; Tulsa homicide detectives have had a busy year and barely enough resources to handle the load. But that's not keeping them from solving crimes.

It's a scene that's played out at least 54 times in Tulsa this year. A murder victim hauled off to the state Medical Examiner's office while homicide detectives scour the crime scene for clues.

"This is a job where they work 60, 70 hours a week, trying to solve these cases and put these bad guys in jail." Tulsa Police officer Jason Willingham says investigators received a tip they'd find a body, dumped down a 25-foot embankment. "There's some kind of a cement ledge that it looks like probably they pulled into the lot behind us and then drug the body to that location and then dumped it off the ledge."

The investigation began as an assault and battery at a house in the 4500 block of North Delaware near the ravine, just about ten hours earlier. Officers responding to a 911 call found large amounts of blood in the house. They searched by land and air, but couldn't find a victim.

Investigators have been gathering evidence from the house and the place where they found the body, trying to determine whether the crimes are related and if so, exactly what happened.

"There's some similarities. Physical evidence connects both scenes." Tulsa Police Corporal Gene Watkins says lab analysis from both scenes will provide the definitive link, as will any witnesses to the deadly assault. "One of the witnesses hides out down in the woods and there's a couple of caves and we went and walked them out to make sure there wasn't anyone down there."

Watkins says they searched through the rugged terrain for a person-of-interest, but didn't find 19 year-old Danny Lieb, someone they believe might have valuable information. "Right now we just like Mr. Lieb to come in and talk to us. If he has some information we'd just like to get it cleared up."

Until the victim's next-of-kin have been notified, Tulsa Police can only say he's a black man in his early 20s. He'd been severely beaten, but the medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

If you have any information about Danny Lieb's whereabouts or about this crime Tulsa Police ask that you call 911 or Crimestoppers at 596-COPS.