0

MUST READ: Oklahoma woman claims famed hijacker is her uncle

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma woman claims an uncle who planned something ''very mischievous'' over the holidays in 1971 was D.B. Cooper, the never-captured hijacker who jumped out of a plane with $200,000.

Marla Cooper of Oklahoma City -- who was 8 years old at the time of the hijacking -- told ABC News in an interview broadcast Wednesday that she is certain her uncle Lynn Doyle Cooper leaped from a Northwest Orient plane not far from her grandmother's home in Sisters, Ore. She said she made the connection after piecing together remarks made by her father in 1995 and her mother in 2009. She did not say why she chose to speak out now.

''My two uncles, who I only saw at holiday time, were planning something very mischievous. I was watching them using some very expensive walkie-talkies that they had purchased,'' she said on ''Good Morning America.''

When contacted later Wednesday, Marla Cooper referred an Associated Press reporter to a family friend who is scheduling interviews.

FBI agent Fred Gutt said Monday that the agency was following up on a ''credible'' new lead in the unsolved D.B. Cooper case. Gutt declined Wednesday to say whether Marla Cooper was connected to that lead, which focuses on a suspect who died more than 10 years ago. Marla Cooper did not say in her ABC interview when her uncle died.

''It is an unsolved crime and we are obligated to address that if new, credible information comes to us,'' Gutt said. ''But it's definitely a low-priority matter because we primary have ongoing criminal activity today that has real threat to the community today.''

Marla Cooper told ABC her uncles said they were going turkey hunting around Thanksgiving 1971, but L.D. Cooper came home claiming he had been in a car accident.

''My uncle L.D. was wearing a white T-shirt and he was bloody and bruised and a mess, and I was horrified. I began to cry. My other uncle, who was with L.D., said 'Marla just shut up and go get your dad,''' she said.