A murderer convicted of killing a child has been strangled in his prison cell, officials said today.
It’s said Anthony Palma, 59, was killed by another inmate, Raymond Pillado, at Oklahoma State Prison.
Medical reports released today describe the cause of death as "ligature strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head".
Palma kidnapped and murdered Kirsten Hatfield, eight, but her body was never found.
Officials are investigating theories Raymond Pillado, another convicted murderer, strangled Palma at the state jail in January.
"Those who are serving time for victimizing children, they are definitely more vulnerable," a spokesman for Oklahoma State Prison said.
Palma was sentenced for Kirsten’s murder in 2017 after DNA linked him to the crime.
Forensic tests suggested he sexually assaulted the girl before he killed her in 1997.
Midwest City Police had planned to interview Palma to help identify the location of Kirsten’s body.
Chief Brandon Clabes, of the force, said: "We’ve not had closure on this case and we may never have closure because we wanted to find her body and bring her home.
"Our hopes are, with any case like this… that hopefully he would have some inkling of a conscience, maybe intervention by a higher power, maybe God, and come out and tell us exactly what he did with her."
Shabnon Hazen, Kirsten’s mother, said she doesn’t plan to "give up hope" just yet.
"I’m not going to… I’m just not. I don’t have to at this point."
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