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Search underway Tuesday in Picher for remains of Welch girls missing since 1999

Posted at 8:53 AM, Jul 30, 2019

PICHER, Okla. — Multiple law enforcement agencies are searching Tuesday for the remains of two Welch girls who went missing in 1999.

RELATED STORY: Arrest made in missing Welch girls case

In a news release on Monday, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Craig County District Attorney's Office said they will search in Picher for the remains of Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible.

Freeman and Bible went missing in December 1999, when both were 16 years old. The bodies of Ashley's parents were found after a house fire, but the girls were never found.

"This remains a very active investigation into the 1999 murders of Danny & Kathy Freeman, the arson of their home, the kidnapping and murders of Ashley and Lauria," said Michelle Lowry with the Office of the District Attorney.

Lauria Bible's mother Lorene tells 2 Works for You that this search has been months in the making.

"The reason why it's taken a bit is because agencies needed to wait for the ground to dry before bringing in heavy machines and digging," said Lorene. "The process to get everyone together on the same day has taken longer, but we wanted to make sure it was done right."

The Tulsa Police Department Dive Team will search bodies of water.

Lorene says agencies will be digging and use ground penetrating radar in their search.

"The plan to search on the property required a joint effort to make sure it all can be done at once," said Lorene. "They are combing the property to either find the girls, or definitively confirm they aren't on the property. We needed authorization to conduct the search, as well as agencies to clear the area and physically conduct it."

Last year, Ronnie Busick was arrested in connection with the girl's disappearance.

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