UPDATE: Craig County District Attorney’s lead investigator Gary Stansill says they found nothing during today’s search. They searched a spot where Busick had said the girls bodies could have been. Stansill says they also searched a possible second area, and found nothing. The Prosecutor says they will go back and continue searching places, such as mine shafts, in the area. They did not say when the additional searches will happen.
PICHER, Okla. – Investigators gather to excavate an old root cellar in Picher, Oklahoma. Their goal, to locate the remains of Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman, missing for more than two decades. The two girls from Welch, Oklahoma disappeared in December of 1999. This summer the only remaining living suspect, Ronnie Busick, took a plea deal in the case. Busick plead guilty to his part in the kidnapping and murder of the girls. As well as the murders of Freeman’s parents and arson of their mobile home the same night they went missing. The plea deal included reduced time behind bars, but only if he provided information that would lead to the recovery of the girls.
Tuesday morning, a team led by Angela Berg from the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s office met at a location on South Ethel Street in Picher to begin digging. The plan, to excavate an old root cellar at the location. She’s joined by lead detectives OSBI Special Agent Tammy Ferrari and District Attorney Matt Ballard’s Investigator Gary Stansill. Also helping with the search, members of the Quapaw Tribe, the Craig County Sheriff, Bureau of Indian Affairs and additional search team members from multiple agencies.
Tawnya co-anchors the KOAM Morning News beginning at 5am and also produces and anchors the KOAM News at Noon. Tawnya came to the Four States in the Fall of 2005 after working as weekend anchor at KRBC in Abilene, Texas, and as assignment editor & producer at KCTV in Kansas City. Tawnya earned her degrees in journalism and theatre & film from the University of Kansas at Lawrence. She also graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Arts in Communication from Pittsburg State University where she currently teaches as an Adjunct Lecturer. Her hometown is Jetmore, Kansas, a rural community with a population of about 900.