Oklahoma City Police Captain Dexter Nelson wants to clarify the situation regarding Alina Fitzpatrick. In a story written by Oklahoman staff writer Bryan Dean and published on January 29th, Nelson is quoted as saying, "Homicide is just a legal term. That gives us legal grounds to prosecute someone. We are still investigating it as a suspicious death. You investigate them the same way."
That lets OKCPD Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow off the hook. On January 20th she was quoted as saying, "Officers are keeping a file on the case, but are not currently investigating her death as a homicide." To the average reader interpreting Wardlow's words it sounded like police were keeping a file open, but not actively investigating the case at all. However, by using the word "homicide" she left the door open for Nelson to do some legalese tap dancing.
So, if Captain Nelson is to be believed an investigation is indeed underway into the death of Alina Fitzpatrick, although there was no mention of the number of detectives and officers currently assigned to the case. The one item of note to be gleaned from this public relations rehab attempt is that, "The contusions and cuts and bruises were not enough to cause death." He did go on to say, according to Dean, that it is obviously unlikely she overdosed naked on the side of the road.
I guess that could be interpreted as progress of a sort.
Nelson summed up by saying "Detectives are at a point now where they could use some help. They have talked to a lot of people, but they don't have all the answers yet."
The main question from the public standpoint right now is do they have any answers at all? The only thing certain is they have the body of a seventeen year old girl who died under mysterious circumstances. Unless information is being withheld in order not to compromise the investigation, it is unknown if the overdose was accidental on her part, or if Ms. Fitzpatrick had meth forced into her system by unknown persons, or was slipped a deadly meth-mickey of some sort. It is certainly unknown who she met that day her cell phone was turned off. It is also unknown how she got dumped into a field in the wilds of far northeast Oklahoma City. And finally, it is unknown why she was beaten, or why someone felt it necessary to stuff a gag in her mouth.
In other words, nearly three months after the fact, there are a hell of a lot of unknowns.
And as awful as this is, police are apparently no closer to finding the killer, or killers of Kelsey Bransby. Of the three teenagers who were murdered this fall hers seems to be the case that has fallen in between the cracks. Even a five grand award offered by her parents hasn't provided any openings, or publicly anyway, any "persons of interest."
In the Carina Saunder's case two people are behind bars, but details have been not forthcoming since their arrests. Fitzpatrick's death has been mentioned by local print media twice in the last nine days. The Bransby murder and there can be no issue of cause of death there, hasn't rated a press release, or story in weeks, if not months.
Police have maintained from the beginning of this gruesome saga that the killings are not related. I'm not sure that is of comfort to anyone with a teen aged daughter in this town. I mean would you rather believe all this is the work of some sort of vicious gang, a cadre of psycho paths who can be run to ground and put away. Or, is it a bit more discomforting to realize there are any number of monsters roaming the streets of Oklahoma City who are doing these things simply because that is how they have fun.
It hasn't been a kind autumn and winter for three different families in the OKC metro area. Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be an end in sight for two of them. At least not anytime soon.
One can only hope more is going on behind the scenes than officials are saying.