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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Victim's parents refuse to cooperate in murder investigation

Cite disrespectful treatment and slander

Laurie Daniels
  • Killed and dismembered four to six weeks ago
  • Head found in Taylor, MS, on April 26
  • Other body parts found in surrounding counties over the last month
  • Last seen in Oxford in 2007

The parents of Laurie Daniels have refused to give further aid to the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department in the ongoing investigation into the murder of their daughter Laurie.

According to a statement released today, Bart and Bonnie Daniels will answer no more questions from detectives.

Bonnie Daniels read from a prepared statement at a small press conference outside the family home this morning.

"Because of the disrespectful treatment we and our friends and neighbors have been subjected to during the course of this so-called investigation, we can no longer in good conscience be a part of it.

"We simply feel that this is not a serious investigation into the death of our daughter. We have opened our home and our privacy to the detectives, and they return these gestures with slander.

"Instead of catching the murderer, the sheriff's department is digging up vicious rumors and hearsay regarding our daughters' and our own personal life. It's an insult to our daughter and to justice itself, and we will not cooperate any longer.

"We would rather go on in the dark about our daughter's killer or killers than face the daily barrage of insults and accusatory remarks made by the police and the public. Any further correspondence will be done through our attorneys."

Bart Daniels was an attorney himself until a cancer diagnosis forced him to retire. The family has hired the firm of Frye & Pierson to represent them.

Heard it through the grapevine

Both the Daniels family and the sheriff's department declined to comment on the details of the "vicious rumors and hearsay" Mrs. Daniels referred to in her statement.

Witnesses familiar with the location where the head was found say a strange ritual site was discovered nearby. That evidence reportedly has investigators seeking information as far away as the New Orleans voodoo district, where it's believed Laurie Daniels lived for several years.

Sources close to the investigation say that just prior to her death, Laurie Daniels is thought to have been in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Friends claim she had gone there in hopes of reuniting with her younger sister, Melanie, who walked away from her family and her life in Oxford in 2006.

YCSD "disappointed" by the family's decision

The Daniels parents have not been named as official suspects, according to Sheriff's Public Information Officer Elizabeth Jones, who added that investigators are disappointed by the family's decision to withdraw their assistance.

In a statement, Jones responded to the Danielses' remarks. "It is in the best interest of Mr. and Mrs. Daniels to continue their participation in this investigation. Their goals and the goals of the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department are one and the sameā€”to bring Laurie Daniels's killer to justice."

By Kemper Jones at 3:45 PM

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