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Oklahoma's Cold Case Files: Darrel Douglas

Posted at 6:26 PM, May 16, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — A good Samaritan in the wrong place at the wrong time lost his life.

It's been 21 years since the death of Darrel Douglas and so far, there haven't been any arrests.

On July 4, 2003, Darrel Douglas spent the holiday camping up at the Spring Creek campground. It was supposed to be a relaxing weekend.

Investigators with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office said they responded to the area after getting a call about a fight. They didn't have a photo of Douglas available to share.

"Deputies and investigators responded to the scene and they do some interviews and they find out that Mr. Douglas has gotten into a physical altercation on July 4th of 2003," said Sheriff Jason Chennault. "He saw some people that were camping at his campground, a mother and a teenage son arguing and fighting," he said. "He tried to break it up, and some neighboring campers thought that he was fighting with this mother, and so they came across the creek."

Chennault said those neighboring campers began to hit Douglas with sticks and firewood.

"Mr. Douglas went to the hospital on July the 5th to get checked out, and he was complaining of arm pain and come to find out his arm was broken," he said.

The owner of the campground found Douglas dead in his camper on July 7. The ME determined cause of death to be blunt force trauma.

"That's been some of our holdup on getting this case prosecuted is because of his lack of a complaint of head injuries between the time that the fight happened and the time that he was found dead," Chennault said.

Chennault said Douglas was the victim of his own efforts to do good.

"From what the original investigators found was that he was a good Samaritan, and he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and his actions just looked wrong," he said.

The sheriff says they've had suspects in this case all along and they interviewed the people that were in the fight with him, but they didn't have enough evidence to move forward.

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