Things were taking a dark turn for Alina Fitzpatrick five autumns ago. The 17 year old had dropped out of Putnam City North high school and begun taking classes through the Putnam City virtual high school program. The word was she had left North because of bullying. Officials of the Putnam City school district, ever protective of their precious public image, quickly responded by saying they had absolutely no record of her being bullied.
There were also rumors that a strange man had begun following her for unknown reasons. In addition there was a report she had started to receive disturbing calls on her cell phone from either the stalker, or some other stranger. The calls had become so bothersome, according people who knew her, she changed her number.
Around 10pm on Friday, November 4th, 2011 she was dropped off near the corner of NW 24th and Western Ave. on the near northwest side of Oklahoma City. Other unnamed persons said she was oddly vague about who she was going to visit that evening. Whether she actually was, or wasn't doesn't matter now. Because that night, Alina Fitzpatrick walked into the darkness and never returned.
Not long after she was last seen her cell phone was turned off and calls were routed directly to her voice mail. When she didn't return home her frantic parents immediately launched a search. Posters were stapled to telephone poles and a Facebook page was established asking for help. It is still there, untouched for half a decade now.
On November 9th an unnamed man and his mother drove out to some property they owned near NE 50th and Anderson Road in far eastern OKC. After arriving they discovered the nude body of a girl. Within a couple of days it was identified as Alina Fitzpatrick.
It didn't take long after that for the investigation to bog down and then, for all practical purposes, end.
The fall of 2011 was a deadly one. Two other young women had already been murdered. The death of Carina Saunders was particularly horrific and the media and public were consumed by it. In its shadow the murders of Kelsey Bransby and Alina Fitzpatrick--to almost everyone, but family and friends--paled in comparison. In fact, after initial reports, news of the Bransby investigation was utterly non-existent in the local newspaper and on television stations.
Initially there was some public speculation the Saunders and Fitzpatrick cases might somehow be connected, but authorities quickly denied any sort of link between the two.
Then came the coroner's report. State Medical Examiner, Chai S. Choi said Alina Fitzpatrick had suffered blunt force trauma to the head and had numerous scrapes, bruises, and lacerations which occurred around the time of her death. She also had paper, or cotton like material stuffed in her mouth. However, none of the obvious wounds were serious enough to kill her. What Choi also found was, 0.96 micrograms of meth per milliliter of blood in Fitzpatrick's heart. He concluded such an amount might have caused an overdose.
His final assessment was, "There are apparently suspicious circumstances surrounding her death." But, he refused to call it a homicide.
As soon as the report went public you could hear file cabinet drawers being slammed shut at OKC police headquarters.
On January 20th, 2012 OKCPD spokesperson Sgt Jennifer Wardlow summed up the department's attitude perfectly. When asked by a reporter what the status of the case was she replied, "It's not considered a homicide, but we're keeping an open file on it."
Sgt Wardlow's callousness struck a nerve somewhere. Nine days later Captain Dexter Nelson told the media, "Homicide is just a legal term. You investigate them (homicides and suspicious deaths) the same way." He added the department needed help from the public to solve the mystery.
To my knowledge, Nelson's remarks over four years ago was the last time Alina Fitzpatrick and her death has been mentioned in the Oklahoma City print and broadcast media.
In April of 2016 an unknown person commented on a two year old post of Ghost Shirt Papers which concerned Alina Fitzpatrick. Using the moniker, "Anonymous," he or she wrote, "The police were told who did it. He was in jail on other charges and still got released."
Without any verification, or evidence there can be no telling if "Anonymous" knows what he, or she is talking about, or is just another internet troll who hasn't a clue, or life.
Whichever the case, what we do know is Alina Fitzpatrick was stripped naked, physically abused, and dumped in a weed strewn field with a gag stuffed in her mouth. We also know the Oklahoma City cops stopped giving a shit about her as soon as they read the words, "possible overdose," in the ME's report.
Yes, so much for justice in Oklahoma City. Sometimes it's just more convenient to write off a young girl's life, rather than pursue the beast who took it.
sic vita est