- Associated Press - Friday, May 13, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A Midwest City man charged with murder and kidnapping in the 1997 disappearance of an 8-year-old girl has waived his preliminary hearing.

Anthony Palma waived the hearing Friday and formal arraignment was scheduled for June 24.

The 57-year-old Palma was arrested in October and charged with kidnapping and killing Kirsten Hatfield. He has pleaded not guilty.

The girl disappeared after her mother put her to bed May 13, 1997, and has never been found. Prosecutors say new DNA testing has connected Palma - who lived two doors away from the girl - to evidence in the case.

Investigators spent nearly two weeks searching for the girl’s body in and around Palma’s home after his arrest, but no human remains were found.

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