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Oklahoma pastor found slain in her Pentecostal church

ANADARKO, Okla. — A pastor was killed and her body was found inside her Pentecostal church, where she had no regular congregation but went every Sunday on the chance that someone would come to pray, authorities said Monday.

Police found the body of Carol Daniels, 61, of Oklahoma City, about noon Sunday inside the Christ Holy Sanctified Church in Anadarko. The small, weathered A-frame building sits along a main road, just a block from the police station, in the town of about 6,600 people about 60 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown said that Daniels had trauma to her body, but would not disclose details, including how, when or where Daniels died. An autopsy was to be done Monday.

The pastor's body was found after police were asked to check on her, Brown said. She could not immediately say who asked police to look in on Daniels.

Brown said the church did not have a regular congregation, but that Daniels was there every Sunday in case people came in to pray or hear a sermon.

"From the little bit I know about her, she was very dedicated to her calling," Brown said.

Mitchell Pendarvis, who lives next door to the church, said Monday that Daniels' car was usually the only vehicle at the church, which is near an alley where he said men sometimes congregate and drink.

"They sit back there, some of them sleep there," he said.

The church, some of its paint peeling and its screen door torn, overlooks an area that includes two vacant homes and an abandoned car wash.

Brown said detectives were seeking to talk to people who live near the church and do more extensive interviews with family and friends. Officials spoke on Sunday with several people who gathered around the building after word about the slaying spread.

Many of them wept and hugged each other.

Vic Bryan, who owns a nearby antique business called Linda's Swap Shop, said the area is usually quiet.

"We've had very little trouble over the years with anything, especially anything like this," he said.

Daniels was a graduate of Douglass High School in Oklahoma City and the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. She is survived by her adult daughter, Raina.

Daniels' mother, Charlesetta Dunlap, said the family had no further information about the circumstances and wasn't ready to talk about Daniels.

"We don't know anything yet," she said.