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On This Day: Welch girls Lauria Bible, Ashley Freeman taken in 1999

PHOTO Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman
Posted at 12:16 PM, Dec 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 13:16:21-05

WELCH, Okla. — On Dec. 29, 1999, Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman got together to celebrate Ashley's birthday at her home in Welch.

Neither of them have been seen since that day.

Investigators found Freeman's parents killed and the search for the girls' remains is still underway.

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.

Multiple digs in Picher where the girls' killers were believed to have stayed have come up short.

Weather and overgrowth in the area have challenged investigators in their efforts.

MORE >>> Missing Welch Girls: Latest dig in Picher comes up empty

The only man left alive responsible for Freeman and Bible's deaths, Ronnie Busick, is serving a 10-year prison sentence for his role.

Philip Welch and David Pennington were both believed to be involved in the kidnapping and the murder of Freeman's parents, but they died before they were implicated in the crimes.

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