Missing Welch Girls: What we know on the 21st anniversary of the disappearance

  • Tuesday night marks the 21st anniversary of the disappearance of Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible.
  • Lauria’s family posted on their public Facebook page pleading for anyone to come forward who has information as to where the girls’ remains are so they can be finally laid to rest and have peace.

WELCH, Okla. — READ: New book looks into missing Welch girls case

  • 2020 was a monumental year in figuring out what happened to Bible and Freeman. The only living suspect, Ronnie Busick, was sentenced to what essentially is the rest of his life in prison. Busick is in poor health, and he is not expected to survive the ten years he was given.
  • Busick was given the chance to reduce his sentence to five years as an incentive to allow him to finish his life outside of prison when Craig County District Attorney Matt Ballard and Assistant DA Isaac Shields agreed to a reduced sentence if Busick could lead investigators to the bodies once and for all.
  • Busick pointed investigators to a location where houses used to be in what is now the ghost town of Picher. After searching two root cellars for the bodies, investigators came up with nothing, and Busick’s time to speak up ran out. He received the longer sentence. His attorney said he tried his best to remember where the girls’ remains are, but his brain is fried from heavy drug use in his life.

What do you want to know about the missing Welch girls’ case?

  • Investigators opened up to reporters about what Busick revealed to them during interviews at the Craig County Jail after his arrest. Busick said he and two now deceased suspects went to the Freeman home in 1999 to collect a drug debt from Ashley’s father. After shooting Danny and Cathy Freeman, the men burned down the Freeman home, but Busick said the girls managed to escape the chaos by running into a nearby field. After making a run for safety, two of the men kidnapped the girls, kept them alive for two weeks, and then they were killed.
  • Busick claimed he simply watched it all play out from the vehicle he was riding in with the men who did the actual killing.
  • At one point, he claimed, the girls were held captive in a basement at a home in Picher.