Search held today in Picher for the “Welch Girls”

Local News


PICHER, Okla. – This morning investigators will gather to possibly excavate an old root cellar in Picher, Okla.

The search continues for the bodies of Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman. Since the crimes in 1999 it’s come to be known as the “Welch Girls” case.

The location information for today’s planned search was provided by Ronnie Busick who recently plead guilty to his part in the kidnapping and murder of the girls, as well as the murders of Freeman’s parents and arson of their mobile home at the end of December, 1999. The other two males responsible were Phil Welch and David Pennington.

The search will be headed by Angela Berg from the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s office, along with lead detectives OSBI Special Agent Tammy Ferrari and District Attorney Matt Ballard’s Investigator Gary Stansill.

Also helping with the search will be:
Members of the Quapaw Tribe
Craig County Sheriff Heath Winfrey’s Office
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Additional search team members from multiple agencies

Surviving family members are also expected to be in Picher.

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