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Oklahoma's Cold Case Files: Jackyie Tarrance

Jackyie Tarrance
Posted at 5:00 PM, Jun 20, 2024

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Okla. — The Life of Jackyie Tarrance was cut short when he was 50 years old, and his case has remained cold for more than 22 years.

“On Wednesday, April 24, 2002, he was found dead in his pickup truck at the entrance to Boudinot Cemetery east of Tahlequah,” said Cherokee County Sheriff Jason Chennault.

Chennault said a passerby found Tarrance and it appeared his body had been there overnight. Investigators said he had been shot multiple times in the head.

As they began to search for a motive, one began to take shape.

“Mr. Tarrance had been a school teacher, and he had gotten into some trouble with narcotics and was let go from his position, and after that, he just kind of floated around and bounced around and got into a little bit of trouble, but nothing major,” said Chennault.

As far as any evidence at the scene, there just wasn’t a lot to go on.

“There is very little evidence at the scene and there was no physical evidence that whoever did this left behind. What they did leave behind was some shell casings and of course the fragments that were in his body and some narcotics that were around the scene,” Chennault said.

But he said there is one clue that stands out to investigators.

Just about a half mile away from the crime scene was a nursing home where a woman there told deputies she heard a man’s voice saying, “No Bubba, don’t.”

Chennault said over the years, they have developed some good suspects in this case, but they just don’t have enough to tie anyone to it yet.

“Nothing went anywhere and not enough to charge anyone and that's kind of my hope that enough time has passed that whatever is holding these people back from talking to us, that person has either died or moved out of the area or gone to prison themselves and maybe people will be more open to talking to us,” said Chennault.

Anyone with information about the death of Jackyie Tarrance can contact the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.

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