MIDWEST CITY, Okla. – The case is seventeen years old.
Kirsten Hatfield disappeared from her home in the 1100 block of Jet Drive in Midwest City in 1997. She hasn’t been seen since.
The case was ripe with ghastly details; a little second-grader from Midwest City who vanished in the middle of the night.
The FBI stayed hot on the trail for months, but every lead was a wrong turn. Every detective came back empty-handed.
Rick Dawkins was the principal at Kirsten’s elementary school when she disappeared.
Teachers and administrators at Traub Elementary remember being terrified and immediately suspicious.
“You always think you’re going to turn the news on and they’re going to say, ‘We’ve had a break in the case.’ Just something. You know?” Dawkins said. “The fact that this has gone on 17 years now. It’s mind-boggling that nothing ever happened.”
Early on Kirsten’s family members were suspected to be involved.
According to forensic analysis the case was just too clean.
The family’s theory that a stranger crept into her bedroom through a cracked window didn’t seem to add up.
“Everybody that was there that day that has worked on this case, responded to the scene. It still haunts all of us because we want to know what happened to Kirsten Hatfield.” said Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes. “That’s the answer I want to know before I retire.”
Kirsten Hatfield would be 25 years old this year.
“I was at the scene.” said Clabes. “I was involved with the case and have been involved with the case for 17 years. Nothing has changed. My opinion is that those pieces of evidence at the scene were most likely put there to give us the impression that she was kidnapped by a stranger, and I don’t think that’s what happened to her, by any means.”
The truth is stored in cardboard boxes now. Critical pieces of evidence in the case are sealed and stacked in the warehouse at Midwest City Police headquarters.
“My hope is that someone will confess. Someone will come forward. Someone will have a guilty conscience. Someone will try and redeem themselves.”
The missing persons poster and a fresh composite sketch hang out front like a declaration to all who come to the Midwest City Police Department that they have not forgotten Kirsten Hatfield.
The department has failed to close the book on her case. It remains painfully wide open.
If you know anything about the case call Midwest City Police at 405.732.2266.