Police Unearth Strange New Evidence in 199 Case of Two Missing Oklahoma Girls9

 1. Birthday Sleepover

Fifteen years ago, 16-year-old Ashley Freeman, and her best friend, Lauria Bible, were giggling together at a sleepover. It was Ashley’s birthday, and the two had decided that the cold night was a good excuse just to stay in and hang out.

But the regular, country life the girls were used to would change forever the very next morning, when police found the Freeman’s home burnt to the ground and no sign of the either of the girls. It’s a mystery that would grip their small community for the next 16 years…
On the night of December 29th, 1999, Ashley Freeman and her best friend, Laura Bible, were having a sleepover to celebrate Ashley’s 16th birthday. They had hung out with a few friends earlier that night and had come back home with Ashley’s boyfriend, Jeremy Hurst. But after he left at 9:30 pm, the two friends were happy to have some much-needed girl time.

2. The House


The Freeman’s home, a trailer located just outside of the Welch city limits, was located at the end of a half-mile, dirt driveway. The property was identifiable by a simple mailbox, sat on top of an iron chain stand and demarcated by a rock entrance. That night, a cold, chilly haze hung in the air, and the small house was only slightly visible in the weak rays coming from the light poles in the area…

3. Kathy and Danny Freeman



Ashley Freeman’s parents, Kathy and Danny, were people of interest in the small community. Danny was suspected of having some connections to drug dealers in the area, and the entire Freeman family was having trouble with the local law enforcement following the accidental police shooting of their son, Shane.

4. Small Town



Needless to say, Lauria and Ashley came from a small, rural town, where everyone seemed to know everyone else. The community of Welch, Oklahoma was a small town of only 600 people. Years after the events of that terrible night people in the town still talk about the horrible happenings and the persistent mystery that occurred on the evening of December 29th, 1999…

5. The Morning After

At 6 am, on the morning of December 30th, a driver reported seeing a fire at the Freeman home. Welch Police and firefighters rushed to the scene to put out the flames, which were blazing nearly out of control by 8 am. When they had finally put it out, they were shocked to find that the Freemans, as well as their daughter and her friend, Lauria, were nowhere to be found. Had they somehow escaped?

6. Manhunt

Investigators soon uncovered the body of Kathy Freeman in the rubble. Not only had she been burnt beyond recognition but police quickly realized that she had been shot as well. Theories as to what had happened to the girls were spreading like wildfire. Had Danny Freeman killed his wife and kidnapped both of the girls?
 7. What’s in the Rubble




Photo credit: www.collectorsweekly.com
Police began to search the remains of the trailer for answers. Danny’s extensive arrowhead collection, which was quite valuable, was evidently not among the rubble. This was another clear indication that he had perhaps made off with the girls and his precious valuables after lighting the place on fire to cover the murder of his wife.
Lauria’s car had been parked near the house when the fire engulfed it but was untouched. Even more unusual, was the fact that her keys were still in the ignition. Her purse, and the $200 it contained, were found amidst the rubble. Investigators also found a veritable arsenal of weapons in the remains of the house. But why would a killer leave all his weapons behind?

A day after their disappearance, Lauria Bible’s parents decided it was time for them to begin their search. As they were searching the rubble, they uncovered something the police had apparently missed: the body of Danny Freeman. The Welch Coroners found that both parents had been shot by a shotgun as they slept in their waterbed. Fire examiners also discovered that someone had set the fire intentionally as well.

8. The Remaining Car

Lauria’s car had been parked near the house when the fire engulfed it but was untouched. Even more unusual, was the fact that her keys were still in the ignition. Her purse, and the $200 it contained, were found amidst the rubble. Investigators also found a veritable arsenal of weapons in the remains of the house. But why would a killer leave all his weapons behind?

9. The Day Later

A day after their disappearance, Lauria Bible’s parents decided it was time for them to begin their search. As they were searching the rubble, they uncovered something the police had apparently missed: the body of Danny Freeman. The Welch Coroners found that both parents had been shot by a shotgun as they slept in their waterbed. Fire examiners also discovered that someone had set the fire intentionally as well


10. Runaways?

Had Ashley and Lauria murdered the former’s parents and only run away? But if that was the case, why would they leave Lauria’s car and all of her money behind? It didn’t fit. The girls were happy, involved in school, and at least one of them had been in a long-term relationship. The Bibles and most of the town for that matter were convinced that someone had kidnapped the girls…

11. Killed by Drug Dealers


One of the many theories about what happened to Ashley and Lauria involves Danny Freeman’s infamous drug connections. Perhaps some of Danny’s enemies or competitors kidnapped the girls. But then, why would they kill the parents? Who would have been left to pay for the girls’ ransom? There is no doubt that Danny Freeman is at the very center of the mystery.

12. Bad Connections







In his life, he was sufficiently linked to convicted murderer, Charles Christian Krider. Krider, who was free at the time the girls disappeared, was sent to prison for 14 years in 2004 for having strangled Judith Schrum. But though authorities compared this case to Krider’s, they found nothing. Until one day, when someone confessed to the crime…

13. Confession






Jeremy Jones, a serial murderer currently on death row, claimed to have killed Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible. Arrest records even indicate that Jones was arrested for public drunkenness and possession at 4 a.m. on the morning of Dec. 30, 1999. He was less than 18 miles from the Freeman’s home. He also admitted to killing the Freeman parents and setting the house on fire over an alleged drug debt.

14. Another Confession






Police searched the area in June 2005, even the abandoned mine in which Jones had confessed to having thrown the girls bodies in. The search turned up nothing and Jones eventually recanted his confession. Another serial killer named Tommy Lynn Sells also confessed to kidnapping and killing the girls, but the lead was a dead end and couldn’t be proven…

15. Shane’s Killers






The Freeman’s outstanding feud with the Craig County Sheriff’s Department also factors into one of the theories regarding their deaths and the girls’ disappearance. Their son, Shane, had been shot and killed by a deputy after the theft of a neighbor’s truck and rifle. Though a judge ruled the shooting as justifiable, the Freemans were still seeking to press charges against the police department.

16. Police Conspiracy






Did the Craig County Police Department want to silence the Freemans once and for all? This theory is not as far-fetched as you might think. It was even investigated by federal agents who had the deputies involved in the shooting take polygraph tests to prove their innocence. They passed and proved that they had nothing to do with the murder, the fire, or the girls’ disappearance. There were other suspects, though…

17. New Leads






In the past several years, investigators have learned of several leads that may lead them to some answers. Because of the wide circulation of the story, researchers receive dozens of tips a year but are actively examining and reviewing all of them to determine their credibility. For instance, in 2015 they learned that Danny had told some friends that he had gotten into an argument with two people who came to his home looking for “stuff”, several days before the fire.

18. Legally Dead






The Freeman family, having waited for so many years to hear from poor Ashley, decided to hang up the search in 2010 when they declared Ashley Freeman declared legally dead. Nevertheless, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation still considers the disappearance as an ongoing investigation and Lauria’s parents haven’t given up hope…

19. All Involved





The Bibles have included all possible law enforcement agencies in the search for their missing daughter. From the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to the Craig County sheriff’s office, the Craig County district attorney’s office, and even the FBI.

20. Facebook Vigil





Photo credit: www.facebook.com/Find-Lauria-Bible-211300375881207/
In 2014, Lauria’s mother started a Facebook page to keep her daughter’s case in the media. “She’s been gone half her life this year, I just decided to see what social media could do,” she said in an interview. To this day there is still a $50,000 reward offered in the case. Years later the Bibles are still hard at work trying to solve the case, though they know deep down that it may already be too late



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