Lauria Bible’s mom is in bad shape but still hoping they’ll find her daughter’s body

It was published today that Lorene Bible has liver failure. She’s at stage four, which Dr. Google says is end-stage; less than half of people with stage four liver failure survive a year after diagnosis. She’s on the transplant list, but if she doesn’t get a new liver she’s going to die, and probably soon.

To briefly summarize, Lorene’s daughter Lauria Bible disappeared in 1999 with her friend Ashley Freeman, after Ashley’s parents were murdered and their house was torched while Lauria was spending the night over there. We know what happened to the girls and it’s horrific, but they’ve never actually been found. I’ve written about the case numerous times before.

It’s likely Lorene will die without her daughter’s body being located, though she and her husband Jay are trying their best to ensure that doesn’t happen. I cannot imagine the mental torture those two have endured over the past twenty years. You let your kid spend the night with her best friend and it turns out to be the worst decision you ever made in your life.

As for me, I am feeling a bit better. I was able to do a small update today and I might add more as the evening progresses, depending on the time situation. Michael’s home from work now and I have to go and cook dinner in a bit. I’m trying to learn to cook all sorts of healthy, diabetic-friendly recipes for him now and to that end have ordered a bunch of cookbooks. Tonight it’s kasha, cooked in reduced-sodium chicken stock.

Ronnie Busick sentenced in Freeman/Bible case

So, last night I did a big update to the casefiles of Ashley Renae Freeman and Lauria Jaylene Bible, slipping them in under the bar just before midnight. I explain about what happened to them, and the witness statements from the court docs and so on.

I’d been putting this off for a long time but I just couldn’t anymore, now that Ronnie Busick, the only surviving suspect in the case, has been sentenced. I had been putting off the update because the details are just so horrible.

I may have said it before but I will say it again. I will never say that Danny and Kathy Freeman deserved to be murdered, because they didn’t. But I can’t help but think they bear some responsibility for what happened to the girls, even though by that point they were dead already.

When you get involved with using/selling illegal drugs and the kind of people who are deeply involved in that world, you are taking great personal risk. Danny and Kathy presumably knew this. They gambled anyway, and lost. Which is sad. However, Ashley and Lauria were just bystanders, children, innocent. They were NOT involved in the drug world, did NOT accept that personal risk, and wound up paying a far heavier price than the Freeman parents did.

I’m not sure which makes me angrier, that or the fact that Phil Welch and David Pennington died before they could face justice. (Though it’s said that Welch died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is a horrible way to go, and if you ask me it couldn’t have happened to a better man.)

Or, maybe what makes me angriest is the fact that if the police hadn’t initially bungled the case so badly, it could have been solved in 2000, well before Welch and Pennington died. Who knows, perhaps the girls could have even been rescued. But instead two innocent young women died after being held captive and brutalized, and two vile men got away with murder. Four murders.

And Ronnie Busick will only serve ten years for his role in what happened, so he practically got away with it as well. But he is 68, and doesn’t appear to be healthy, and given what I know of his history (drug use throughout most of his life, and he got shot in the head and was left with brain damage) and what I know about prison health care, I wonder if he be alive ten years from now.

Reader discretion advised

So here’s a copy of the court filing in the Ashley Freeman/Lauria Bible case. It is horrific. I haven’t even read it yet myself and I know it’s going to be horrific.

I did glance at the first few pages and it looks like the sole living suspect, Ronnie Busick, was the lookout and two men who are beyond earthly justice actually killed Danny and Kathy Freeman. And of course, if Busick and his lawyer have any brains at all they’re going to dump as much blame as possible on the dead guys and paint him as an innocent bystander or something.

I had bad dreams last night about the girls being held captive by those men. Some real Silence of the Lambs type stuff.

Not gonna update today. I’ve been out all day and now I’ve got some things to do. I’ve got to deal with an email sent in with about a zillion corrections on one of my cases. And possibly take Michael to the hospital when he gets home, depending on how awful he feels. He’s been sick for awhile.

Holy crap!

They’ve arrested a suspect in Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible‘s cases. The man, Ronnie Dean Busick, was charged with four counts of murder, two counts of kidnapping and one count of arson.

The police gave a press conference and said Busick and two other people, David Pennington and Warren “Phil” Welch, killed Ashley’s parents, set the fire and took the girls. They then held Ashley and Lauria captive for some time — the cops don’t know exactly how long, but days at least — and took Polaroid photos of them, which they showed to other people, and bragged about what they were doing.

Pennington and Welch are dead now. The cops have recovered the Polaroid photos and hope to locate the girls’ bodies. I hope they do, and quickly. It’s been eighteen years.

MP news lately

I’ve been out of the loop the last ten days, but here’s a couple of things that have happened in the meantime in the missing persons world.

Jenika Feuerstein has been located deceased. The twenty-year-old disappeared from Mesa, Arizona five years ago, on January 3, 2009. Target shooters found her skeletal remains taped inside a container in the desert. Obviously a homicide.

Tommy Lynn Sells, a serial killer, was executed last Thursday. He’s listed as a suspect or person of interest in several Charley Project cases: Lauria Bible/Ashley Freeman, Juanita Bardin and Stefanie Stroh. Yay, more cases for me to update! I might not put up a notice for these ones though.

They’ve started a search for the body of Ladana Wiley, who disappeared from Texas on New Years’ Day, 2000. Ladana’s case has never once been updated in the whole history of the Charley Project. I don’t have much on her.

Thomas Funk‘s family has doubled the reward for information leading to his location. He went missing from Florida in 2011 — another case about which I know little. I’ve got pics of his tattoos though.

New details released in Ashley Freeman/Lauria Bible investigation

After a long dry spell, the disappearances of sixteen-year-olds Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman are back in the news. It was an incredible case. Lauria was spending the night at Ashley’s family’s trailer in Welch, Oklahoma on December 30, 1999. That night the trailer was set on fire, Ashley’s parents were killed and the two girls vanished without a trace. Since then there have been many rumors and a long list of suspects, but no solid leads.

Well, nearly eleven years after the kidnaps/arson/murders, the police are releasing details about two vehicles seen in the vicinity of the crime scene around the time the first broke out. They are hoping someone will remember something, though I don’t see how a person could remember a passing vehicle after over a decade.

Articles:
The Oklahoman
The Tulsa World