Oklahoma authorities search for weapon in 2001 cold case

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WAGONER COUNTY, Okla. – Divers searched a river in northeast Oklahoma for a gun used in a nearly 20-year-old unsolved homicide and despite unsuccessful recovery efforts of the weapon, officials say they will continue to follow leads.

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Brooke Arbeitman says divers were unable to locate the weapon Friday during the search under the Highway 69 bridge about 35 miles southeast of Tulsa in the Verdigris River.

On April 9, 2001, at around 1:30 a.m., a customer trying to buy a cup of coffee at the Kum & Go convenience store called police when he couldn’t find a cashier and noticed an empty cash register drawer on the floor.

When police arrived, they found 59-year-old Richard Piersall shot to death in the back room of the store where he worked as a clerk.

Richard Piersall

Officials say the store did not have any surveillance equipment.

Several suspects were developed throughout the investigation, but no arrests have been made.

OSBI officials say they are actively pursuing leads despite the case being cold.

The OSBI, Wagoner Police Department and the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) Police Department dive team searched the river.

If you have any information, call Wagoner Police Department or the OSBI at (800) 522-8017 or email tips@osbi.ok.gov.

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