ANADARKO, Okla. – A pall hangs over Anadarko.
One that didn’t fall to earth Wednesday with the morning’s rains and subsequent gloomy skies, but one that has been stagnate over the city since Pastor Carol Daniels was slain inside her small church nearly eight years ago.
Only recently, with reports of a grand jury being convened to look further into the matter, has the slaying touched people’s tongues once again.
“It’s just horrible, not knowing, who did it and that your family is left with that, it’s horrible,” said Shaney Owens, who moved to Anadarko in 2011.
Owens lives two houses down from Daniels’ former house of worship, Worthy Temple Christ Holy Sanctified Church, where her body was found on August 23, 2009, a Sunday.
An autopsy report indicated Daniels had been stabbed several times and her head was nearly severed from her body. Police reports state Daniels’ body was posed in the form of a cross.
All remnants of that day are gone — as is Worthy Temple Christ Holy Sanctified Church – saved for the memorial in Daniels’ remembrance.
“Does it come up in conversation at all?” NewsChannel 4’s Bill Miston asked Owens of Daniels’ killing.
“As a matter of fact, it did the other day,” said Owens. “It’s just horrible, not knowing, who did it and that your family is left with that, it’s horrible.”
At the time, the brutal crime sent shock waves through the small town of.
While investigators continued to investigate the case, they said they received very few leads over the years.
“We want to solve this case as badly as anyone wants us to solve it,” Jessica Brown, with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, told NewsChannel 4 in 2012. “It’s just a matter of being able to find the leads and follow those leads, and we will continue to do that until we bring justice to Carol Daniels’ and her family.”
No arrests were ever made in the case, but it seems a grand jury may be looking into an alleged suspect.
According to NewsOK, the state’s multi-county grand jury looked into whether a drug dealer played a role in Daniels’ death. Sources close to the investigation later confirmed this to NewsChannel 4.
The grand jury was hearing testimony about Denise Kay Cooper.
Court documents indicate Cooper has been convicted of assault and battery charges and distribution of a controlled substance.
Even if the grand jury finds there is evidence Cooper played a role in Daniels’ murder, she will never go before a judge in the case. NewsOK reports Cooper died from cancer earlier this year.
NewsChannel 4 has requested comment from the Caddo County District Attorney, Jason Hicks, but have not yet heard back.
“It has been very heartbreaking that they haven’t found who did that to such a beautiful soul,” said Daniels’ friend, Kym Pendarvis, who lives in Anadarko.
Pendarvis was part of the effort to have the memorial put in place for Daniels.
“Thankful they are investigating, that justice can hopefully be served for sister Carol,” Pendarvis said. “I pray that, with the investigation, it will help bring closure for the family and the community.”
For Owens, any change of wind in the cold case would go a long way.
“I think it would,” Owens said. “I think it would help the city and people, the church community. I think it would help a lot.”