Mother of missing child and investigators react to plea deal

Ronnie Busic Mug Shot

CRAIG COUNTY, Okla – On Wednesday, 69-year-old Ronnie Busick plead guilty to one count of accessory to murder.

He was arrested back in 2018 after being identified as a suspect in the 1999 disappearance and probable murder of Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible, who were having a sleepover at Freeman’s home in Welch, Oklahoma.

Busick and two other men who have since passed away are also accused of killing Freeman’s parents.

The public information officer of the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation says that their many investigators are happy the case could be coming to a close.

“There’s been a lot of work on this case over many, many years, all in an effort to find those responsible for the deaths of the Freemans, and also locate the girls. And so I think it feels good to have some resolution in this case,” said OSBI Public Information Officer Brook Arbeitman.

Busick has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, and 5 years of probation, but could have that changed to 5 years in prison and 5 years of probation if he helps investigators locate Ashley and Lauria’s remains.

Lauria’s mother says she’s not overly optimistic that Busick will lead to her to her daughter.

“That’s what we’re hoping for, but with this guy, you never know. I mean, it’s out there that he may be just doing this to get a deal,” said Lorene Bible, Lauria’s mother.

The OSBI is a bit more optimistic, but understands where Lorene Bible is coming from.

“I think we’re cautiously optimistic that we’ll be provided decent information that can locate the girls, but I certainly understand why the families might also be cautiously optimistic. They’ve been through so much over all of these years,” said Arbeitman.