PAWNEE COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – It’s been almost 50 years since 16-year-old Cynthia Dawn Kinney was last seen at a laundromat in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.
Recently, the Osage County Sheriff’s Office named the BTK serial killer, Dennis Rader as the prime suspect in her 1976 disappearance. However, Osage and Pawnee Counties District Attorney Mike Fisher says he hasn’t seen any evidence that points to Rader as a prime suspect, but he has not looked at the evidence himself.
Fisher claims there’s a second suspect in the investigation but says he is not confident they will ever solve the case because that suspect’s dead.
“The things that I have heard pertaining to the second suspect, I believe, are or are more verifiable than perhaps the information that we have that suggests Dennis Rader’s involvement,” said Mike Fisher, Osage and Pawnee Counties District Attorney.
Fisher said he believes the Osage County Sheriff’s Office does not have enough evidence to convict BTK in the Cynthia Dawn Kinney case, saying the evidence they’ve shared with the media is “insufficient.”
“I’ll call them rumors because they’ve not been substantiated yet, rumors as to potential other evidence that I have been made aware of. None of that at this point rises to the level of even reasonable suspicion,” said Fisher.
However, the D.A. is making these assumptions without seeing any evidence himself.
“I have tried to reach out to Sheriff Virden, as I said, and that didn’t go well,” said Fisher.
In response to that, the Osage County Sheriff’s Office said quote, “District Attorney Fisher has not reached out to the Osage County Sheriff’s Office to discuss the details or developments of this investigation. Therefore, his comments regarding the case are based on incomplete information and do not accurately represent the OCSO’s efforts or the progress made.”
Fisher said he called OSBI to open an investigation because he says the Sheriff has given him “pause and concern.”
“If evidence comes to light that is sufficient for the filing of charges, the District Attorney’s Office will file those charges as appropriate and as the law requires,” said Fisher.
OSBI told KFOR they are filling the D.A.’s request and are assisting the Osage County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies involved in the investigation.
However, Fisher states there is a separate investigation going on with a second suspect who is now dead.
He believes that person could be responsible for Kinney’s disappearance but is not confident it will ever be solved.
“No, I’ll be I’ll be very blunt with you again, because of the age of the case, I hope I’m wrong and I hope this new lead that there’s enough information and we do have some stuff… But I don’t hold out a lot of hope,” said Fisher.
BTK’s daughter, Kerri Rawson was backing the Osage County Sheriff’s Office on Monday.
She sent KFOR the following statement:
“Osage SO is doing a fantastic job working these cold cases and trying to get justice for the Cindy Dawn Kinney family and all the other families awaiting answers for decades, in multiple Midwest states.”
She went on to say, “I’m actively working hard with Osage. I can’t speak for what is happening with the Pawnee County D.A., but it’s a disgrace to see someone placing politics on the backs of victim families including mine.”
OSBI says they are in the initial stages of the investigation. They want to stress they are not leading it; they are assisting the other agencies involved.
On Tuesday, The Sheriff’s Office will be holding a press conference at 2 p.m. in Osage County. KFOR will keep you updated on the latest developments.
See the Osage County Sheriff’s response below and more on their website here:
OSBI has been involved already and at two meetings with Osage and KBI.
OSBI had the opportunity to work daily with us and to be kept up on additional new information but have not reached back out since.
Since the beginning, Osage has been trying to work with OSBI, KBI and local law enforcement in many states.
We’ve been working with the federal authorities not Fisher because he has not reached out and is not aware of how this investigation has developed over the past many months.
Fisher has attempted to obstruct the investigation by reaching out to the prison trying to stop the second interview with Rader and I, without knowing what information I have and is the one who has without knowledge of the case hurt the victim’s families and continues to, up till today.
Over all, this is another example of Fisher’s unprofessional mis-handling of this and many other situations both in Osage and Pawnee Counties.
I will address it further tomorrow.
-Osage County Sheriff Eddie Virden