OKC Criminologist: Recent Teens' Deaths Have Something In Common


Tuesday, November 15th 2011, 11:38 pm
By: News 9


Three teenage girls, all found dead within the last month.

Tuesday, police identified the body found nude near an abandoned home in Northeast Oklahoma City last Wednesday.

Seventeen-year-old Alina Fitzpatrick had been missing since November 4. Many News 9 viewers have emailed us asking if the cases are related. Police said no, but criminologist Howard Kurtz said there may be a link.

10/17/2011 Related Story: Body Found In Duffel Bag In Bethany Identified As Missing Teen

10/31/2011 Related Story: OKC Woman Dies Days After Being Found On Apartment Floor

11/15/2011 Related Story: Body Found Identified As Missing OKC Teenager

"Oklahoma as far as teen homicides in the country, we are kind of in the top ten for that. When they examine teenage homicides, what they discover is a lot of them are gang-related, and we are seeing a growth of gangs in Oklahoma. A lot of them are alcohol and drug related," Kurtz said.

The girls' deaths are bizarre. Dismembered, shot in the face, and nude in a field. According to Kurtz, they are possibly drug-related and someone was trying to send a message.

"They'll get a person that's been arrested and they turn them. You're not dealing with people that gave you the drugs at the party, you're dealing with serious criminals. Girls tend to get emotionally attached to guys they shouldn't be attached to. It gets back to the idea of the bad guy," Kurtz said.

Who the bad guys are remains a mystery in all three of these cases. At this point, the medical examiner hasn't determined the cause of death of Fitzpatrick.

Police have not determined whether it was a homicide. No arrests have been made in the Saunders' or Bransby's cases.

If you have any information that could help police with Alina's case, call the tip line at (405)-297-1200.