Parents beg for people to come forward after major break in 18-year-old cold case

Posted at 9:37 PM, Apr 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-23 23:19:53-04

VINITA, Okla. - New chilling details were released Monday making a major break in a cold case that has captured Green Country's attention for nearly 20 years. 

A mother never forgets. 

"Finally all the hard work you've done over 18 years, 3 months, 26 days has not been for nothing," said Lauria Bible's mother Lorene Bible. 

After today she'll never forget the faces of the men accused of killing her daughter. 

"Phil Welch, Dave Pennington and Ronnie Busick killed Mr. and Mrs. Freeman, abducted the teenage girls and set fire to the Freeman home," announced Craig County District Attorney Matt Ballard. 

Busick, the only living suspect now sits in a Kansas jail. 

Busick's arrest warrant was filed in Craig County Monday. 

It's 29 pages thick and gives horrifying details about what happened to the girls, and more than what many people ever wanted to know about her suspected murderers. 

On his death bed Pennington told someone Welch was the "mastermind."

A woman who lived with Pennington told investigators one of Ashley's parents was buying drugs from him when Ashley and Lauria walked in. 

Another said Welch was the "triggerman" and killed the parents over Danny Freeman's meth debt. 

Almost every witness saw photos of the girls alive, tied to chairs or Welch's bed and gagged in the days following the fire. 

All three men molested them before strangling them to death. 

There are multiple accounts of Welch telling people the girls are buried in Picher, Oklahoma. 

More specifically, "they're dumped in a mine shaft or cellar later covered in concrete."

Investigators interviewed Busick three times last year. 

He never admitted to his involvement. 

"Maybe he'll come around. Maybe he'll give us more information later as time goes on," hoped Lauria's father Jay Bible. 

But he and his wife, nor Ashley's family, are discouraged. 

"Before I was conquering the whole world, now its like here's where I've got to go," Lorene said. 

In fact, they're just getting started. 

"I need a place where I can go and say that's where my daughter is," she cried.

Busick now faces arson, kidnapping and murder charges. 

The family begs anyone with information leading to the girls' bodies to reach out to OSBI.

You can remain anonymous and receive a $50,000 reward. 

OSBI: 1-800-522-8017 or email 

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

Download our free app for Apple and Android and Kindle devices.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook