Kirsten Hatfield
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Kirsten Hatfield

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Eight-year-old Kirsten was last seen in her bedroom of her home in Midwest City, Oklahoma on the evening on May 13, 1997. Her mother put her to bed at 11:30pm and when she checked Kirsten's room again around 6:00 to 6:30am the next morning, Kirsten was gone.


There were small amounts of blood on the windowsill in the room and on the backyard fence. The window was open and Kirsten's underpants were found in the backyard. The blood didn't match Kirsten.


Authorities think that Kirsten was abducted by someone close to her, like a relative, because they don't believe a stranger would've been able to carry her out the window and over the fence without a struggle or noise.


Ken's mother was involved in drugs at the time of her daughter's disappearance and believes that someone she knew (who is possibly connected to the drug culture) abducted Kirsten. Foul play is suspected in her case.


Kirsten was last seen wearing an adult-sized t-shirt with lettering imprinted on it. She has a mole on the bridge of her nose near her left eye and a discoloration on her neck. Her two upper teeth are permanent and her ears are pierced.


At the time of her disapperance, Kirsten stuttered when she talked and she is left-handed. Her nickname is "Kurdle Burdle."


Kirsten's neighbor, Anthony Palma, was identified as the source of the blood found at the scene of her abduction via a DNA sample voluntarily submitted by Palma. Samples from several different people associated with or tangential to Kirsten were collected by detectives following up on the case seventeen years after the fact. One of these samples was from Palma, who submitted it voluntarily. Palma was convicted of her abduction and murder on October 13th, 2017. The following month, Palma was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.


Palma was found dead in his Oklahoma prison cell on January 11th, 2019, having apparently been murdered by his cellmate.
Kirsten's body has never been located.
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#2
    A convicted child killer who was found dead inside his Oklahoma prison cell on January 11 had been beaten and strangled, authorities confirmed.

Anthony Palma, 59, who was found guilty of the 1997 murder of 8-year-old Kirsten Hatfield, died 13 months after arriving at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester as a result of "ligature strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head," the Office of the State Medical Examiner said (via The Associated Press).

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) believe Palma's cellmate, also a convicted murderer, was responsible for his killing.


Officials said at the time they believed the nature of Palma's crimes led to him being targeted inside the prison.

"Those who are serving time for victimizing children, they are definitely more vulnerable," DOC spokesman Matt Elliott said, reported the New York Post.


The body of Palma's 8-year-old victim has never been found. She was kidnapped from her home in Midwest City in May 1997.

The case remained unsolved until 2015, when DNA evidence from blood on Hatfield's bedroom window and her underwear found in the backyard were linked to Palma, who lived two doors down. He was convicted of first-degree murder two years later.

Following his death, police said they had planned on interviewing Palma later this year in the hopes of finding out where the girl's body is hidden.

"We're certainly not encouraging violent acts in the penitentiary, but some people would say that he met his justice," Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes told KFOR.

"But our concern is the fact that we've not had closure on this case and we may never have closure because we wanted to find her body and bring her home."

Clabes added he had hoped that Palma would have an "inkling of a conscience" or an "intervention by a higher power" that would have resulted in him finally telling police what he did with Hatfield's body.

The young victim's mother, Shannon Hazen, said she would not be rejoicing in Palma's death.

"God's love and forgiveness got us to Anthony Palma's arrest. It got us through Anthony Palma's arrest. It got us through the trial, and I anticipate it will get us through whatever is next," Hazen told KFOR in January.

"I'm not celebrating his death. I do pray for his family. It's not lost on me that he has family and people that care about him."
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#3
MCALESTER, Okla. —
Authorities have released the name of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections inmate accused of killing Anthony Palma, officials said.

The inmate has been identified as 35-year-old Raymond Pillado, who is serving a life sentence for three homicides in 2006 in Oklahoma County. In November 2009, Pillado pleaded guilty for all three murders, according to online records.


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Around 7:30 p.m. Friday, a correctional officer conducting a check found Palma, who was covered by a blanket, lying face down on the floor of his and Pillado's cell, according to an incident report. Pillado removed the blanket, revealing blood on the floor.

Palma was not breathing, the incident report stated. Pillado was restrained while medical personnel began an assessment on his cellmate.

Palma was pronounced dead at 8:55 p.m.

Although the State Medical Examiner's Office has not released the cause of death, the incident report stated an electrical cord was recovered in Palma's and Pillado's cell.

Pillado is accused of killing Palma a little more than a year after the 59-year-old man was convicted of killing 8-year-old Kirsten Hatfield. She was reported missing from her Midwest City home in May 1997, and her body was never found.

A judge sentenced Palma to life without parole in October 2017.

KOCO 5 spoke with Hatfield's mother Monday, who said she has not given up hope that her daughter's body will be found despite Palma's death.

"I will never give up on her. I'll just never get over her," Shannon Hazen said.

Midwest City police Chief Brandon Clabes said the department has not opened any new searches for Hatfield's body.
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