Two Teen Girls Disappeared After One Of Their Parents Were Murdered

Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible
Facebook | Find Lauria Bible

News & Politics
Jessica Powers

On December 30, 1999, firefighters in Welch, a rural Oklahoma community, were called to a fire in a mobile home. At first glance, it was a typical call.

But authorities would find Kathy and Danny Freeman dead inside the home and realize that their 16-year-old daughter Ashley and her friend, Lauria Bible, were missing.

Police Made A Gruesome Discovery After Responding To A Fire

Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman
Facebook | Find Lauria Bible

At approximately 5:30 a.m. on December 30, 1999, a passerby called 911 to report that the Freeman home was on fire. Law enforcement quickly determined the fire had been arson.

Inside the home, charred remains of Kathy were discovered on the floor of her bedroom. She had been shot in the head at close range. Initially, no other remains were located, so police believed that Ashley's father, Danny Freeman, had killed his wife and fled with both girls.

Bible's car was in the home's driveway with the keys in the ignition.

Law enforcement could not find any trace of Lauria Bible or Ashley Freeman in the rubble of the home.

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Lauria Bible's Parents Found Another Body In The Rubble

Lauria Bible
Facebook | Find Lauria Bible

On December 31, Lauria Bible's parents Lorene and Jay, returned to the scene, hoping to find any additional clues that law enforcement may have missed.

While walking around the rubble of the home, they discovered what appeared to be another body and notified the police. That body turned out to be Danny Freeman. He also had been shot in the head at close proximity to his wife.

The Case Went Unsolved For Years

Ashley Freeman
Facebook | Find Lauria Bible

For years, there were few answers in the case. Two convicted killers—Tommy Lynn Sells and Jeremy Jones—confessed to murdering the missing girls, but they subsequently recanted their admissions.

Jones had claimed that he murdered Freeman's parents as a favor for a friend over a drug debt, then took the girls to Kansas, where he shot them and threw their bodies into an abandoned mine. Jones later admitted he had made up the story hoping to get better food and additional phone privileges in prison.

Finally, Someone Came Forward With Information

Ronnie Busick
Facebook | Find Lauria Bible

In April 2018, Ronnie Dean Busick, age 66, was arrested and charged with four counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of the Bible and the Freeman family.

Warren Phillip and David Pennington were also identified as suspects, but both were already head at the time. According to The Washington Post, "at least a dozen" witnesses claimed all three men bragged about raping and murdering Bible and Freeman.

A female witness who lived with Welch told police she "she heard conversations between the three men where they disclosed that the murder victims had owed them money" and that Welch kept a briefcase containing the Polaroid photos which showed both girls bound.

The Bible family stated that they had been aware of the alleged photographs "for years" and that "At this time, all focus is on finding Lauria and Ashley. We welcome all information leading to their recovery. Until they are home with us, this will never be over."

Busick Is In Prison, But The Girls' Bodies Have Never Been Found

Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman
Facebook | Find Lauria Bible

Busick pleaded guilty on July 15, 2020, to being an accessory to first-degree murder in the deaths of Danny and Kathy Freeman, arson of their home near Welch, Oklahoma, and the abduction and presumed killing of the two girls. He admitted having withheld information about the involvement of Welch and Pennington and was sentenced to 15 years for the crime, with 10 of the years to be spent in jail.

The Bible family maintains an active Facebook presence on the group Find Lauria Bible in hopes of someday finally getting closure and putting Lauria and Ashley to rest.

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