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An Arrest Is Made In A Nearly Two Decade Old Oklahoma Mystery - KOAM TV 7

An Arrest Is Made In A Nearly Two Decade Old Oklahoma Mystery

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    An arrest is made - nearly two decades after the development of an Oklahoma mystery in Welch.
It started - some time ago...
Aungela Spurlock, OSBI Special Agent in Charge: "The tragic homicide of Danny and Kathy Freeman, on December 30th, 1999, and the subsequent search for their daughter Ashley Freeman and her friend Lauria Bible, began the investigation that has lasted almost two decades, and brings us here..."
Lorene Bible: "18 years, 3 months, 26 days" the exact time from December 30, 1999 to now, that the families of Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible have been waiting to hear - an arrest -  Ronnie Dean Busick - and charges -
Matt Ballard, Craig County District Attorney: "Four counts of first degree murder for killing Kathy Freeman, Danny Freeman, Ashley Freeman, and Lauria Bible, two counts of kidnapping for the abductions of Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible, and a final count of first degree arson for setting fire to the Freeman home."
Lauria's father - Jay - holding back tears talking to the press today.
Jay Bible, Lauria's father: "We've missed her for a long time, and we're going to bring her home, and we're going to hold on to that."
Craig County District Attorney Matt Ballard - wasn't done with the charges.
Two additional men - Warren Philip Welch II, and David A. Pennington, also on the list, however, both of them died during the course of the investigation.
Ballard: "We believe there are people with knowledge of this crime, who can assist in recovering the girls bodies, and bring some closure to the families."
Lauria's mom - Lorene Bible - looking to encourage those who know to come forward - or - to encourage Busick to be more forthcoming.
Lorene Bible, Lauria's mother: "I'm hoping once we get Mr. Busick here that I'll get the opportunity to look him right in the eyes and say 'I need you to tell me where to go find my daughter.'"
Lorene described her daughter to us...
Lorene: "Laura was a 16 year old girl that liked everybody, she loved to work with children, her goal was to become a cosmetologist and do hair, makeup, nails..."
She says the relationship they had - became closer in the months before Lauria's disappearance - following the death of Lorene's sister-in-law.
Lorene: "When you hear of mother daughter that says you're my mother but you're my best friend, that's how we was."
Everyone involved in the case say it's not over yet - and won't be until they're able to bring Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible - home to their families.

Click Here For Court Document (contains graphic content)

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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