ANADARKO, Okla. - It was the worst crime scene the Caddo County district attorney had seen in his 20-year career, a pastor, brutally murdered, throat slashed, stab wounds all over her body, found behind the altar of her church in Anadarko.
Now, exactly one year later, authorities still do not have the person who did it. Carol Daniels was found inside the Christ Holy Sanctified Church Aug. 23 with more than 20 cuts to her head and neck. They found her in a position as if she were on a crucifix. Her hair was singed by fire and whoever did it had almost decapitated her.
7News just happened to be there in town to do another interview altogether. Just the day before, the town's newspaper had burned, so 7News had set up an interview with the owner. Instead, it was learned that someone had murdered a pastor, brutally and viciously.
It was a horrific scene one year ago, investigators searching for evidence, seemingly in vain. Today, the site looks a lot different. The church has since been bulldozed down and in its place, mourners have left crosses and flowers in memory of Daniels.
As horrific as the crime was, it seems there are precious few clues. Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation Spokeswoman Jessica Brown says information about evidence found at the scene, such as a possible DNA dissolvent poured on the body, was exaggerated and possibly damaged the case.
"As far as a reason for anything at the scene, people are trying to fill in the blanks and that's dangerous. Investigators need to be able to move forward with their information and armchair quarterbacks need to stay where they are and let us do our work," said Brown.
Brown says investigators thoroughly checked out all of the evidence on the scene and off.
"Early on we used the internet and some social networking sites to run down some leads. We've done that and we've not found anything there that leads us to a suspect yet," said Brown.
Brown says not having any witnesses makes it difficult.
"Unfortunately this happened on a Sunday morning not a lot of people around she didn't have many on her congregation. Not many people who saw or heard anything," said Brown. "If it can happen to Carol Daniels then it can happen to any of us in our homes or, any place else."
Brown also says they have checked over the country for any similar crimes, but nothing has come up. The mayor says, while things are getting back to normal, the brutal murder is still on everyone's mind. He says the churches in town are a little more cautious of their safety than before.
As far as the site of the former church, the mayor says family and friends are considering building more of a memorial to Daniels.