State Sen. Susan Paddack said friends and neighbors in her community of Ada were devastated by this past weekend’s kidnapping and murder of teenager Caitlin Elizabeth Wooten. The Ada high school student was abducted by her mother’s former boyfriend and was later found dead in an apparent murder/suicide. Now Sen. Paddack is looking at possible legislation to prevent similar crimes in the future.
“I was in my home Friday afternoon and actually heard the Amber Alert go out. It just chilled me to the bone to think that somebody was missing. I was at the football game that night and heard how the abduction took place. Then on Saturday morning I heard the news that they’d found her body. It just made my heart ache for Caitlin and for her family,” said Paddack, D-Ada.
According to published reports, less than one month ago, Jerry Don Savage had been arrested for kidnapping and pointing a gun at Donna Wooten, Caitlin’s mother. Savage bonded out of jail the day after his arrest.
“I’ve gotten many emails from friends and neighbors who are just devastated about this terrible crime. I want to know if there is something we can do to strengthen existing laws or if there is some way to require an assessment to prevent dangerous suspects from getting out of jail so easily.”
Paddack said she had asked Senate staff to begin looking at current statutes to see how similar situations could be prevented in the future.
“We have to do something to protect others from this kind of violence. We should not allow these violent individuals to be put back on the streets and harm other innocent people in our community,” Paddack said. “If there is a way we can do that through legislation, then I will write that bill and carry it in the 2006 session. We must do everything we can to make our communities safer.”