Investigation Into 1997 MWC Abduction Continues - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Investigation Into 1997 MWC Abduction Continues

Posted: Updated:
The high-profile arrest of their former neighbor, Anthony Palma, provided hope after 18 years. The high-profile arrest of their former neighbor, Anthony Palma, provided hope after 18 years.
It has been a nearly two decade wait for justice in the abduction of 8-year-old Kirsten Hatfield. It has been a nearly two decade wait for justice in the abduction of 8-year-old Kirsten Hatfield.
MIDWEST CITY, Oklahoma -

It has been a nearly two decade wait for justice in the abduction of 8-year-old Kirsten Hatfield. This week marks one year since her family received word the case could soon be solved.

The high-profile arrest of their former neighbor, Anthony Palma, provided hope after 18 years. Palma lived two doors down from Hatfield at the time of her disappearance in May 1997. And he was still living on Jett Dr. in Midwest City when investigators arrested him Oct. 12, 2015

"Three undercover cops came and hauled up the family, " neighbors say they witnessed too much to reveal their identities.

Many watched as Midwest City Police and crime scene investigators converged on Palma's home. For 10 days, investigators searched the house inside and out in attempts to find Hatfield's body.

No human remains were found, but other evidence was collected from the home.

The case, though, built on new DNA testing linking Palma to evidence found in the cold case -- blood found on the window sill of her bedroom. His DNA was also connected to a pair of Hatfield's panties found in the backyard of her home.

"I never would’ve thought it was him...but I guess with DNA," neighbors say they were in disbelief until they heard of the evidence against Palma.

According to his Attorney, Irven Box, Palma claims he is innocent. Not even his wife Leaetta Palma believes that now.

"I've moved on with my life," she said she hopes there's justice for Kirsten. "I hope she is found."

Palma is charged with murder and kidnapping. His trial is set for March. In the meantime, Palma is in jail on suicide watch.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Featured On News9.com

  • Consumer Watch

    Been a victim of a scam? The Consumer Watch team investigates and gives helpful advice.

  • Local News

    Get the latest breaking news, current events and headlines affecting Oklahomans.

  • My 2 Cents

    Join Kelly Ogle in a community conversation about important Oklahoma issues.

  • 9 Investigates

    Are you aware of incidents of fraud, corruption, government waste? We investigate.

Powered by Frankly
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.