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Missing Welch Girls: Latest dig in Picher comes up empty

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Posted at 12:03 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 21:49:06-04

PICHER, Okla. — The search for two Welch girls continued Friday as crews worked on another digging operation in Picher.

Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman were kidnapped and killed in December 1999 and crews have been searching for their remains ever since.

A K9 team from Arkansas in on Friday to search an area in Picher where the girls' remains could be.

>> Photos: New search Friday for Lauria Bible, Ashley Freeman in Picher

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Investigators began a new search effort Friday in Picher with the help of a K9 unit from Arkansas to find the remains of Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman — two girls from Welch who were kidnapped and killed more than 20 years ago.

Bible's uncles had been working to clear the area for the new search and potential dig, according to the family.

However, after a day full of following the trained dogs and moving dirt in the heat, the latest search ended empty-handed.

The family isn't giving up, but the next steps in their efforts have yet to be announced.

Friday's search is the latest of several efforts in the Picher area to find the remains after tips from Ronnie Busick who was convicted in the girls' deaths last year.

Busick is the only man alive serving time in the case as the other two men accused in the girls' deaths as well as the killings of Freeman's parents died before they could face charges.

Busick's information along with information from the family of David Pennington — one of the other two men accused of taking them — led authorities to search Pennington's former home in the area on Friday.


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