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Man arrested in connection with 8-year-old who disappeared in 1997 from Oklahoma

Authorities have arrested an Oklahoma man in connection with the disappearance of a 8-year-old girl that went missing 18 years ago.

Kirsten Hatfield, went missing  from her home in the 1100 block of Jet Drive in Midwest City, Oklahoma on May 13, 1997.   Her mother found her missing early that morning.  The investigation found her underpants in her backyard and blood on the windowsill, and on a hurricane fence.  

DNA was taken at the time, but it was not as sophisticated as it is now and nothing matched.  

Then in June a police officer assigned to Kirsten’s case ran the DNA from all the men who had been interviewed before about Kirsten’s disappearance.  This time, DNA testing showed that Anthony Palma, 56, as a suspect.  His blood was found on her panties and on the window sill.  Palma lived in the same neighborhood as Kirsten at the time.  

“We decided to review all the evidence in this case. What we learned from our review was that some evidence had not been submitted for analysis, which included cigarette butts, a syringe, a beer bottle, and what we also knew from the original analysis of the blood that was found in Kirsten Hatfield’s panties and also the blood on the window sill outside her bedroom window, is that there were specific genetic profiles that were similar in nature,” Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon. 

Police also  learned that some of the information Palma provided in 1997 was inconsistent with what he told authorities in June, 2015, according to News 9. 

Officer’s waited to arrest Palma till today, because they wanted to do surveillance and a title 3 investigation to bring a solid case to the prosecutor.  
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