- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - More than three months after a man admitted to the killings of his ex-wife and his two children in Wyoming in 1980, the investigation remains open while authorities await warmer weather to resume searching for the bodies in a deep lake.

Authorities spent a couple of days last fall searching Fremont Lake in western Wyoming for the bodies of Virginia Uden, 32, and her two sons, Richard, 11, and Reagan, 10, said Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation Deputy Director Kebin Haller.

“Basically we were able to put investigators out on a search-and-rescue boat that had some sonar equipment,” Haller said Tuesday.

Gerald Uden, 71, of Chadwick, Mo., told them where in the lake to look, Haller said, but they didn’t find any sign of the three. They called off the search for the winter.

Fremont Lake is 10 miles long, a mile wide, and at 600 feet deep, one of the deepest lakes in the U.S. The lake typically freezes over almost completely in winter.

The ice will need to thaw substantially before the search can resume, Haller said.

Meanwhile, Uden’s wife, Alice Uden, 74, is set for trial March 4 in Cheyenne. She has pleaded not guilty to a charge of killing her previous husband in Wyoming in the mid-1970s.

Authorities arrested the Udens in Missouri in September. They have not connected the cases.

Gerald Uden pleaded guilty Nov. 1 to three counts of first-degree murder. He told a courtroom in Lander he’d shot Virginia Uden, his ex-wife, and her two sons after a visit to his home in the Pavillion area in Fremont County on Sept. 12, 1980.

He described driving with the three in a station wagon 5 or 6 miles before they all got out near an irrigation canal. He said Virginia Uden had brought a .22-caliber rifle.

Uden said he test-fired the rifle, then shot her and the boys.

He said he first disposed of the bodies in a mine, then went back and got them and sunk them in the lake on the other side of the Wind River Range from Fremont County.

Virginia Uden had been doing “her very best to split Alice and me apart,” he said.

Alice Uden is charged with first-degree murder and has been jailed on $250,000 bond.

She’s accused of shooting Ronald Holtz, 25, with a rifle in late 1974 or early 1975. Authorities recovered Holtz’s remains last summer from 40 feet down an old vertical mine shaft in southeast Wyoming.

An affidavit filed in the case says an informant told investigators that Uden once acknowledged shooting Holtz with a rifle as he slept and dumping his body in the mine.

Investigators say Holtz’s skull had a .22-caliber bullet in it.

Alice Uden filed for divorce from Holtz in 1975, and the divorce was granted after he didn’t respond, court documents show.

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