“When I heard the description on the news, it hit me that it was Cathy,” Mrs. Geneva Best, mother of slaying victim Cathy Ann Dalton, said Thursday.

“I told my husband it’s Cathy, but he said “No, no,’ and I said “It is,’ ” she added.

Mrs. Dalton’s decomposed, nude body was found Saturday near a Coweta rest stop on the Muskogee Turnpike wrapped in a plastic sheet and partially buried. The 31-year-old victim had been shot once in the torso, an autopsy revealed.

Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation spokesman Paul Renfrow said Thursday that agents are actively pursuing leads in the case, but have no suspects.

“Now that we have her identified, we have a city to go to and people to talk with,” Renfrow said. “It’s a whole new case now.”

Mrs. Best said the victim’s sister, Debra White of Wetumka, identified three rings and a necklace taken off the body at the OSBI Crime Lab in Oklahoma City.

“The OSBI asked us to keep it quiet until dental records were checked and she was positively identified,” Mrs. Best added. “We got the final word Wednesday afternoon.”

Mrs. Best said she last saw her daughter Feb. 26 when she left her at a friend’s house in Okmulgee, where the family once lived.

“She was to return to Brook Park, Ohio, that week where she had been working as a waitress and country and western singer. But,” Mrs. Best added, “she never made it there.”

Mrs. Best said her daughter telephoned her around Feb. 28 from Okmulgee “and told me she was doing fine and that she loved me.”

“She acted like she couldn’t talk or something, but I didn’t think much about it at the time,” Mrs. Best said. “Thinking back now, there could have been something going on, I don’t know.”

Mrs. Dalton was never reported missing, the mother explained, because she frequently traveled and kept sporadic contact with family members.

Okmulgee detective Perry Harkrider, who said he has known Mrs. Dalton for years, described her as a drifter.

Mrs. Best said her daughter’s two children, ages 13 and 11, have been in foster homes. She said the father’s whereabouts are unknown

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