GROVE, Okla. – One of the oldest unsolved murder cases in Delaware County is getting a fresh look under the newly formed cold case unit with the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department.
Doris Harris and Danny Oakley were found on Feb. 21, 1996, inside their mobile home in rural Delaware County near Afton. They had been shot to death, and the home had been set on fire.
“This case is on our list to be reviewed by our Reserve Cold Case Investigation Unit,” said Delaware County Sheriff James Beck.
Beck formed the Reserve Cold Case Investigation Unit in January. The unit is comprised of retired and experienced law enforcement personnel as investigators.
On the same morning of the slayings, an intoxicated Denny Hunnicutt of Fairland was arrested in North Miami. He was driving Oakley’s car. An Oklahoma State Bureau investigation report about the Oakley/Harris slayings shows there was an unidentified fingerprint and four unidentified palm prints found inside Oakley’s car.
Hunnicutt pled guilty to federal drug charges in 1997 and was sentenced to seven years. He died in 2006, according to published reports
There have been significant advances in DNA testing and fingerprint analysis since 1996, Beck said.
Ron Faulkener and Hunnicutt were taken into custody as material witnesses in connection to the slayings.
“The heartbreak of that happening has never gone away and knowing the people that did it have never been held accountable makes it even worse,” said Paula Barnett, Harris’s sister.
For the past 26 years, Barnett has met with local and state law enforcement officers. At each meeting, she pulls out a five-inch blue binder filled with newspaper clippings, autopsy reports, as well as portions of a journal believed to belong to Oakley and cell phone records for the three months leading up to the killings.
Barnett is optimistic about meeting with Beck.
“I’m hopeful that the newly developed cold case unit will give our families the answers we deserve,” Barnett said.
In 2005, a convicted murderer, Jeremy Jones, formerly of Miami, confessed to the slaying as well as several others. He has since recanted the confession.
Individuals with information about the Oakley/Harris slayings are encouraged to call the Delaware County Sheriff at 918.253.4531.