McClain County Works to Solve Cold Cases

Friday, January 16th 2009, 7:22 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

PURCELL, Oklahoma -- Every law enforcement agency has cold cases and every law enforcement official wants to close them. In McClain County, a renewed effort is underway to find final answers to three cases that are still open.

A missing man, a missing teen and a murder victim make up what are all cold cases linked to McClain County. And the McClain County sheriff has just hired veteran investigator Dana Guthrie to focus on clearing them.

"I have no preconceptions of the victims or possible suspects, so everything I'm looking at is new to me, and I will take that information and develop it as it develops from me, instead of what someone else has already done," Guthrie said.

First, Guthrie will focus on the case of Byars resident Jimmy Frank McCullough. He was last seen leaving an Ardmore casino. It's still not known if skeletal remains found in Ardmore are McCullough's.

"If the skeletal remains that Ardmore Police Department found are not our victim, then we will look at it that he is still a missing person," Guthrie said.

Guthrie will also focus on closing the case involving Lawton teenager Tanja Marie Hook, whose decomposed body was found along a McClain County road.

The third case may be the most difficult one to clear. It involves a murder that occurred in a rural home near Dibble. In October 2006 the body of a 68-year-old Burney Ray Bounds was found inside the home. He had been strangled. The investigation produced the a sketch of a face of a suspect, but little else.

Guthrie plans to get results.

"On the tree cases that I have, I would say 80 percent chance that we will get closure on all three of them," Guthrie said.

He's reviewing the files, hoping that a fresh set of eyes will change these cold cases into closed cases.

If you have information that can close any of the three cases, call the McClain County Sheriff's Office at 405-527-2141.