- Associated Press - Sunday, January 3, 2016

WELCH, Okla. (AP) - Jay and Lorene Bible are praying 2016 will be the year the family receives answers to the many questions surrounding the disappearance of their daughter, Lauria, and her best friend, Ashley Freeman.

The teen girls disappeared on Dec. 30, 1999. The same night that Ashley’s parents, Danny and Kathy Freeman, were shot and killed and their mobile home in Welch set on fire.

Ashley and Lauria were having a sleepover to celebrate Ashley’s 16th birthday. The teens’ bodies were not discovered in the charred remains of the mobile home.

“Today is 16 years since we saw her and talked to her,” said Lorene Bible. “I remember the last words said were, ‘I love you - see you tomorrow.’”

But tomorrow never came.

The teens have been missing for half their lives, Bible said.

“Not a day - not a hour - not a minute goes by without us praying for knowledge of where to find her,” Bible said.

In the past three months, investigators have learned of several leads involving the girls’ disappearance said Gary Stansill, investigator for the Craig, Mayes and Rogers County District Attorney’s office.

Investigators are examining and reviewing the new leads to determine their credibility, he said.

Stansill could not go into detail about the leads saying, “It could jeopardize the investigation.”

For years investigators have investigated several theories, but the main theory that resurfaces is that intruders killed the Freemans, set the mobile home on fire and kidnapped the girls.

Lauria and Ashley’s story has been profiled locally, statewide and nationally, and yet it still remains unsolved.

The Freeman family had Ashley declared legally dead in 2010, according to court records.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation classifies that disappearance as an ongoing investigation.

What happened on Dec. 30, 1999?

A shotgun blast sheared off the bottom portion of Danny’s face, according to an autopsy report. Kathy was shot in the back of the head and was found by investigators lying face down on the couple’s waterbed.

Danny’s remains were found the next day near the waterbed by the Bibles while they were searching through the ashes.

Danny’s extensive arrowhead collection was never found in the rubble and Lauria’s car was still parked in front of the Freeman mobile home with the keys in ignition. Her purse, which contained money, was found in the charred remains of the Freeman mobile home.

Jeremy Jones, 42, a convicted killer and rapist who once lived in Miami, Oklahoma, was a person of interest in the Freemans’ deaths.

Arrest records show Jones was arrested for public drunkenness and possession of drug paraphernalia at 4 a.m. Dec. 30, 1999, less than 18 miles from the Freeman’s farm.

Jones confessed to killing the couple and setting their mobile home on fire over a drug debt and taking the teenagers to Galena, Kansas, where he said he shot them and threw their bodies into an abandoned mine.

A search of the area in June 2005 turned up nothing, and Jones recanted his confession.

Jones has never been charged in the case and is on Alabama’s death row for the murder and rape of a Turnerville, Alabama, woman.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the OSBI at 1-800-522-8017.


Information from: The Miami News-Record, https://www.miaminewsrecord.com

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