OSBI and district attorney investigators search for teens remains
Dive teams from Tulsa search mine shaft ponds
PICHER, Ok — The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and Craig County District Attorney’s office team up with Tulsa police for a search in Picher Oklahoma.
They’re looking for the remains of Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible who disappeared back in 1999 after the murder of Freeman’s parents at their home which was set on fire.
Property in Picher on 575 road between 22nd and 30th roads is believed to be the last place the teens were seen alive. It is the home of one of the suspects who has since died. It’s the last place Lauria Bible’s mother wants her remains to stay.
Lorene Bible explained, “People come by leave flowers but who wants to drive all the way over here and leave it on ultimately a killer’s doorstep!” She said others can go to a cemetery, “This is all I got right now. For me, I want to bring her home so I can have a place.”
With memorial flowers on one end of the property, investigators used rakes to clear ground for searching. Using ground penetrating radar they rolled over grass looking for evidence of remains below. Then they marked those points checked with flags.
Ed Keheley, who spent three years surveying mine shafts, is helping.
He said, “We have the 1999 aerial photographs. I do, in my collections. We’ve used those to get a picture of what it looked like in those days. And so it’s just building on data.”
The Tulsa police dive team is searching the black pond nearby. And divers looked in an area 10 to 12 feet deep. A road once led to the pond but is overgrown now.
Ronnie Busick is the lone living suspect in the case. And his attorneys are asking the courts to rule him incompetent.
Bible disagrees, “The man is not stupid and he’s only as incompetent as he wants to appear.”
Bible said she knows after visiting him in jail.
“He knew I was Lauria’s mom,” Bible said, “You know it’s just a game they play so let’s play your game. I have to do everything I have to do, so I can prosecute you.”
Bible’s a driving force in the search and making it public. Her presence was denied in the past because she wasn’t informed of the search. Bible said, “You let me decide what roller coaster I want to be on. It’s part of a missing child/missing person case. The peaks and the valleys. You let me choose that.”
This search she said was three to four months in the planning.
Investigators were not commenting here at the scene but said they will send out press releases at the end of the search which will continue throughout the week.
The Quapaw Nation cleared the search site and brought a cadaver dog to help work the area Tuesday. The Nation also drained some area ponds. It’s crews will be helping in the search this week.
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