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Duncan police look for leads in cold cases

Timothy "Otis" Smith Timothy "Otis" Smith
Gail Anderson Gail Anderson

DUNCAN, Okla._On the heels of the anniversary of a Duncan man being found shot to death in his car, the Duncan Police Department is hoping to find new leads for several cold cases.

Gerald Snider was found dead in the Goodner's east parking lot in his black Jeep thirty years ago on November 27, 1984. The case has since gone cold with the lack of many leads, but police are determined to find the answers about his death. His case is just one of several that Duncan police are now tackling head on.

Duncan is no stranger to tragedy, even in generations past. Unfortunately, several cases at the Duncan Police Department have gone unsolved throughout the years. But just because they're unsolved, doesn't mean they're forgotten. Police say they hope new technology and new leads will help them be able to help the families and the community find closure once and for all.

Police Captain Jay Evans remembers the officers on patrol on the east side of town that fateful chilly night in 1984.

"They noticed the Jeep with the door open and they thought that's really strange, so they went and checked it out. That's when they discovered Gerald Snider had been shot there," said Captain Evans.

With the car still running, Snider's body was found in the driver's seat, but who's responsible still remains a mystery.

"You have some connections there that people like to brag about stuff that they actually didn't do, so you always have those false leads you're following as well," explained Captain Evans.

Although no cold case is ever closed, Snider is one of three in particular that Duncan is revisiting in hopes of getting some answers.

Timothy "Otis" Smith was last heard from by his mother in 1985 asking for money. He had told her he had been threatened just shortly before he vanished.

Gail Anderson is another missing person who disappeared from Duncan in 2004.

Two cases that police believe foul play was involved in their disappearance.

Now, in 2014, with many family members of these three are living outside of Oklahoma. Evans says the department is taking to new resources to help crack these cases.

"The drones can do the grid search patterns and it's all programmed into the computer.

The camera is so powerful, we can bring that back to the computer and we can blow everything up and take a look at everything while we're there," explained Captain Evans.

Naturally, Facebook is another tool in hopes of maximizing their chances of snagging a tip that could solve one of these cases.

"All these cases are open and will remain open. We're always looking and we'll never forget. We'll never forget," said Captain Evans.

Police say many persons of interest in these cases have since passed away, so they're hoping anyone with information won't hesitate to come forward. If you know anything about these crimes, you're asked to call Duncan police at 580-255-2112.

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