By Ken Miller
ANADARKO, Okla. — A pastor was killed inside her Anadarko church four years ago, and the case is yet unsolved. Though it no longer dominates conversations, a religious leader says, her death did play a role in his decision to acquire a concealed-carry permit and to sometimes arm himself during church services.
The nude body of Carol Daniels, 61, was found inside Christ Holy Sanctified Church on Aug. 23, 2009. An autopsy report said her hair had been burned and her head was nearly severed. There have been no arrests.
"It helped motivate me to get a conceal carry license," said Rev. Brian Ball, who said he sometimes carries his weapon during his sermons and regularly carries it when he is alone at Oakridge Community Church. Daniels was killed three blocks away, and he was conducting services at the time of the slaying.
"I try not to publicize it, honestly, and very few people have asked. I try to conceal well," Ball said.
Daniels' mother, 85-year-old Charles Etta Dunlap, said one thing that has not been discussed is that her daughter's purse and briefcase were missing from the church. Dunlap said she has heard nothing from law enforcement in several months.
"I haven't heard a thing, not one single thing," she said. "No one seems to be doing anything."
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown said she could not comment on the purse and briefcase.
"Any part of our investigation is considered confidential," she said, noting that the case remains open. She wouldn't say whether any suspects have been identified. Anadarko police referred questions to the OSBI.
Dunlap said the only clue that her daughter provided before her death was that two people would often come to the church when she was there.
"Two men she said would come to her church all the time. One would sit in the back and one would go to the piano and she told them they would have be saved or he couldn't come and play her piano anymore," Dunlap said. "I never asked her what their names were or anything, and that has bothered me ... I often wondered about those two people."
Daniels lived in Oklahoma City and traveled about 60 miles each Sunday to her church — about a block from the Anadarko Police Department — just in case a parishioner showed up for a sermon or for help.
Dunlap said she's confident the crime will eventually be solved.
"I'm sure that it's going to be revealed sometime," she said, "because I've got a feeling that person is going to confess."
The small church was razed and stone monuments honoring Daniels stand on the site.