Retired Detective Determined To Solve Cold Case In Norman
A young mother's mysterious death unsolved, her killer still out there. Years after her murder, the cold case is put in the hands of a Norman Police detective who won't give up.
"I have a theory as to how and why her death happened and it fits with all the evidence," said Detective Jim Parks with the Norman Police Department's Cold Case Unit.
Det. Parks plans to prove that theory. He came out of retirement last year to head up NPD's Cold Case Unit.
"There's more information out there," he said. "I have to go through the entire book, read every piece of paper that was produced by multiple officers, multiple investigators."
Beginning with the first report filed on September 25, 2013.
"I was on patrol at that time and we received a welfare check," remember Detective Ryan Bruehl with the Norman Police Department.
Det. Bruehl and his partner were the first officers on the scene.
'Her friends had come up from I believe Anadarko," he said. "They were concerned about their friend and I met them out in the road."
Owachige Osceola, 27, lived inside a duplex apartment located at is duplex apartment on Ridgecrest Court in Norman. Osceola's friends hadn't heard from her for days and were worried after seeing a post on social media that read "Moose is tryna k.M."
"They were coming up with Moose is trying to kill me," said Parks.
Once Bruehl and his partner walked up to the door, they noticed it was kicked in. As they made their way through the apartment, they soon realized they were walking into a crime scene.
"It just looked like that bedroom was a little bit disheveled, most of the bedding was off on the floor," Bruehl said. "To me it looked like a disturbance had taken place in that bedroom."
They found the young mother's lifeless body under a blanket.
"We found it very suspicious the way we found her," he said. "If somebody was under a blanket and deceased, that somebody probably put that blanket on top of them."
Homicide detectives were called in as news soon made it to Osceola's mother in Florida.
"The day when I was informed that my daughter was murdered, I'm still there, I haven't moved on yet," said Roberta Sherlock, Osceola's mother.
Sherlock said her daughter was recently divorced and trying to make a new life for herself and her young daughter, who was with her father at the time of the murder.
"She had that kind of magnetic personality to where everybody loved her and wanted to be around her," said Sherlock. "Whoever did this to her, I want them brought to justice."
The medical examiner ruled Osceola's death undetermined. Now nearly five years later, the family is still hoping for a break in the case and are putting all their hopes in Detective Parks.
"We figured out who Moose was, and we were able to eliminate him, he had a solid alibi,"
Parks believes the post was meant to throw investigators off. DNA samples collected on other initial suspects have weeded the suspect pool down to one.
'It was someone she knew," he said. "I have a pretty good idea of who it is. I have a good idea of how and why it happened."
And with each day he feels closer to proving it.
"I think I've got a real good possibility of getting charges filed in this case," Parks said.
Charges that could help ease a mother's grief.
"I want this to end so she can rest in peace," Sherlock said.
The family is offering a $40,000 reward to anyone who can provide information that leads to an arrest in this case. You can send a tip to Norman Crime Stoppers three different ways:
- Text your tip to CRIMES (274637) and make sure to include the agency number TIPI323 in the body of your message
- Submit your tip online using the secure form found at normanpd.normanok.gov
- Submit your tip by calling (405) 336-STOP (7867)