Two young girls vanish into thin air
Welsh, Oklahoma 1999
A sweet 16 birthday celebration was underway for Ashley Freeman at her home with her best friend Lauria Bible and Ashley’s boyfriend Jeremy. Ashley’s parents Danny and Kathy Freeman were also at the home during the celebration.
What started out as what most would think would have been a typical teenage milestone turned deadly by the next morning.
It’s important to understand that the Freeman home was not your typical home at all. The Freeman’s trailer apparently did not have running water. Although it had electricity and telephone service it was primarily heated by a wood stove. It was also heavily stockpiled with guns.
In all reality, the home was not a fit home for caring for children, particularly that of a 16 year old girl.
The father and son Shane were pretty much known to deal drugs and some months prior Shane had been shot and killed by the Welch’s sheriff office because Shane had stolen his uncle’s truck and rifle and some type of altercation between the officers and Shane ensued.
The Freeman family claimed to relatives that should anything happen to them, they need to look at the sheriff’s department as they had planned to file a wrongful death lawsuit for the killing of their son Shane.
Sometime after around 9:30PM on the night of December 29th, 1999, after Jeremy had left the party, the home was found on fire, at around 5:30am the next morning the fire department was dispatched to put the fire out after a neighbor called.
According to initial reports once the fire had been put out the only body that they could find was that of Kathy Freeman, so investigators initially thought that Danny had murdered his wife and abducted the two girls.
It’s also important for readers to understand that investigators would not have come to this conclusion so simply. It’s not a knee jerk assumption, they had several run in’s with the family and of course rumors flew about the goings on at the residence itself. So clearly investigators felt that something given Danny’s colorful past gave creed to the notion that he could have capable of murdering his wife and abducting the girls.
That theory however was later disproved because the next day a relative digging through the charged remains of the home found Danny’s body.
At this, through analysis and autopsies investigators found that both Danny and Kathy Freeman had been shot in the head thus killing them and fire was set to cover it up, yet the girls were nowhere to be found. They could not locate any remains in the charred home, the property or near it.
At this juncture this is where the story takes so many off the wall twists and turns it has left conspiracy theorists ripe with so many theories it is difficult to find fact from fiction unless of course you speak with the authorities.
One widely popular theory was of course, that the sheriff’s department murdered the parents and disposed of the girls in some outlandish way that it would give Hollywood a run for it’s money. Some have gone as far as to suggest that the police covered for each other in some way, as you see the Welsh sheriffs department early on asked that another department handle the investigation due to the conflicts of interest with the family that were already very well known about.
So now, multiple agencies are helping to cover for a crime the police committed? A stretch, a long stretch at that.
Other rumors have surfaced from time to time about issues with individuals outside of the family due to the father’s drug dealings, Shane’s past etc.
Two men also admitted to murdering the girls, these were men in prison already who had been convicted of other crimes. And of course the stories each told were eventually proven to be false.
The first man was Jeremy Jones who confessed to killing the girls and throwing their bodies in an abandoned mine. He said that he had committed the murders for a friend for an unpaid drug debt. He later admitted he made the story up to get better food in prison and better phone privileges.
The Second man was a man who was convicted of murdering a 13 years old and sentenced to death, it is believed however that committing at least 17 murders while traveling around the the US. Tommy Lynn Sells wrote a letter to a newspaper claiming to be in a drug induced state and murdered the girls. He was executed in Texas in April of 2014.
What really could have happened aside from the police doing it?
Well we have to look at the family unit itself first. This was a dysfunctional family, drug selling and abuse I am sure. In the home some level of domestic abuse occurred I am more than sure of that.
They were according to people that knew them avid hunters thus the many weapons they had but in all reality those weapons were never used just for hunting. It was also rumored that Ashley hunted with her father so she could have shot her parents in all reality.
Girls typically are not the ones to pull the trigger, it’s too messy for them and they are not always wired that way in terms of murder. They would more than likely enlist the help of another to accomplish such a murder.
I am more drawn the home being burned down after the murders of Ashley’s parents. Typically, a murderer will not use fire as the weapon of choice when it comes to the actual murder, no more often than not a fire will be used to cover up parts of the crime. Something the killer wants to hide, whether it be something they took, how they murdered a victim, a sexual assault, long term domestic abuse, the identity of a victim, the burning of the crime scene is a classic move in an attempt to hide something or several things.
Setting the home ablaze was utilized in this case as a way to throw investigators off of leads which leads me to the more likely scenario that Ashley either wanted out of such a home life or her best friend and/or boyfriend had other plans or all three had a more long term plan together.
It’s not like a drug buyer or dealer to kidnap two teenage girls for a debt owed unless they were part of some bigger more sophisticated crime syndicate.
What we know for sure is that the girls vanished with no money and no way to travel far without help of some kind.
I don’t believe the girls died back then if they are dead at all. At least not both. The boyfriend was initially cleared but I would go back and ask again. Something was out of character that night or off. Something didn’t seem quite right and he couldn’t place it and like a typical teen, wouldn’t have picked up on it at the time. A little revisit time with the former boyfriend might be the key investigators need in solving this case.
If Jeremy truly had nothing to do with it, he noticed something off.
Cristal M Clark
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