Investigators search for Oklahoma girls missing since 1999

PICHER, Okla. (AP) — Investigators began searching on Tuesday at a site in the former northeastern Oklahoma town of Picher for the remains of two teenage girls who disappeared in 1999.

Searchers began excavating a vacant lot for the remains of Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman, who were both 16 and haven’t been seen since Dec. 30. 1999, after Freeman’s parents were found murdered in their burned mobile home in Welch, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) away.

The location in what is today a ghost town was provided by Ronnie Busick, 69, who pleaded guilty in July to accessory to murder charges in the case as part of a deal that requires him to provide information leading to the recovery of the remains of girls.

I believe he’s trying, to what degree I don’t know,” said Ottawa County district attorney investigator Gary Stansill regarding Busick’s cooperation.

“We brought him out here to verify the location and … it doesn’t look anything like it did in 1999,” Stansill said.

The bodies of Freeman’s parents, Danny and Kathy Freeman, were found in the burned rubble of their mobile home about 70 miles (113 kilometers) northeast of Tulsa and the two girls were missing.

Bible was spending the night with Ashley Freeman and the two girls have never been found despite numerous searches.

Busick, 69, of Wichita, Kansas, was arrested and charged in 2018 and investigators say two other suspects are now dead.

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