Gun used in Weleetka girls' murder still missing

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Updated: 10/14/2011 9:28 am Published: 10/13/2011 10:34 pm

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is again asking for the public's help in finding the gun used to kill two Weleetka girls more than three years ago.

The OSBI is confident a Glock .40 model 22 was used to murder 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker and 13-year-old Taylor Placker June 8, 2008, about 100 yards from Placker's home. The serial number on that gun is EKG463US.

An intense investigation revealed the gun may have been sold at a gun show in Tulsa this past March. Previous releases on this weapon have produced no viable leads. The OSBI is offering up to $5,000 for this firearm. Agents are confident the person who now owns this weapon is not responsible for the girls' murders. If you have information about this gun, please call the OSBI at 1-800-522-8017.

A manager with the United States Shooting Academy and William Whitaker, the father of Skyla, both feel the new information about the gun will get officers closer to solving the case.

Time is the great healer but in Weleetka, Oklahoma, the unsolved murders of two girls found along a dirt road three years ago, there hasn't been enough time to heal a father's deep wounds.

"I'd like to talk more but I am having a really hard time right now," says William Whitaker. "We need to find the person who did this."

He's praying an arrest could come soon now that the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has released the serial number of the suspected murder weapon.

"I know somebody has it out there," says Whitaker. "All you got to do is open that gun cabinet and look at the serial number."

"It's a very good chance they could recover this gun whether the person knowingly or doesn't know this gun as used in a crime," says pro shop manager at the U.S. Shooting Academy in Tulsa, Geoff Portman.

A manager at Tulsa's U.S. Shooting Academy says the paper trail used to track a gun starts at the manufacturer, goes to the distributor and then to the retailer. But once a gun is sold the trail gets bumpy.

"All I have to do is draw up my bill of sale and I could sell my firearm to you. That's why it's difficult to trace a firearm past the point of 44-73 transfer form," says Portman.

But that's what state investigators are saying. Someone in Tulsa might unknowingly have the murder weapon in their gun cabinet. For those in Weleetka who are trying so hard to heal that weapon can't be found soon enough.

"Whenever they release information like this it's like tearing off a scab to a wound," says Whitaker. "Hopefully, this will bring an end to it."

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