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Man accused in disappearance, murder of Kirsten Hatfield waives right to preliminary hearing

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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. – A Midwest City man who is accused in the disappearance and murder of an 8-year-old girl waived his right to a preliminary hearing Friday.

Anthony Palma, 56, is charged with first-degree murder and felony kidnapping related to the 1997 disappearance of Kirsten Hatfield.

Kirsten was 8-years-old when she disappeared from her home at 1108 Jet Drive in Midwest City in the middle of the night.

Kirsten Hatfield

Kirsten Hatfield

According to court documents, detectives believe Palma targeted Kirsten for sexual assault.

After going back over the evidence, investigators say DNA samples linked Palma to the crime.

Palma was arrested on Oct. 12, 2015 at his home, only two doors down from the Hatfield’s home.

Several agencies, including the OSBI and the Midwest City Police Department, tirelessly searched Palma’s property for Kirsten's remains.

Authorities searched through the inside of his home, underneath the house and across the yard. In fact, investigators also had to remove a concrete floor in the garage.

However, no human remains were found.

On Friday, May 13th, Palma waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on June 24th.