Search for Oklahoma girls remains circling back to early tip

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — Investigators are re-examining a tip from 19 years ago in the case of two abducted Oklahoma teenagers who are presumed dead.

The Joplin Globe reports new questions were raised after an expert assisting authorities recently found an old article in the Missouri newspaper about an anonymous caller.

The caller told investigators on Jan. 4, 2000, that 16-year-olds Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible were killed and their bodies were dumped in a mine shaft near Picher in northeast Oklahoma, along the Missouri border. One of the three initial suspects lived in Picher.

FBI agents investigated at the time, but no evidence turned up. Investigators are now questioning whether details from the initial report were correctly interpreted.

The one suspect still alive, Ronald Dean Busick, was charged in 2017 with murder, kidnapping and arson. Busick has denied the allegations. He remains jailed with bail set at $1 million.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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