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Family in disappearance case hopes for answers after arrest of Love County Sheriff

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An Oklahoma family believes the recent arrest of Love County Sheriff Joe Russell might lead to answers in a missing persons case.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation started investigating a year after Molly Miller and Colt Haynes vanished.

Agents say they are consistently following up on new leads.

"Our family has endured a lot of pain. You know, we've heard every story. Every horrible story imaginable that could have happened to Molly and Colt," Paula Fielder, Molly's cousin, said.

Right before their disappearance, investigators say the two were involved in a high-speed chase.

James Conn Nipp was the driver.

"James Conn Nipp has been our number one suspect all along," Philip Klein said.

Klein is a private investigator hired by the family.

"We know the morning of the disappearance where the cell phones all went dead at 10:10 in the morning," Klein said.

"I told Conn we knew Molly was deceased. That we knew something bad had happened to her, and that he needed to tell us where she was and Conn's response was, well actually he teared up and said I don't want to go to jail," Fielder told News Channel 4.

Nipp was arrested for the chase and is currently serving time in prison.

Sheriff Russell is a relative of Nipp.

Russell is accused of allowing Nipp to meet with family unsupervised in a room with evidence.

Molly’s family feels Russell’s arrest could finally lead to answers.

"I don't think he was complicit in the actual crime no, but I do believe that he knows what happened to Molly and Colt," Fielder said. "As I told him, he knows full well that they never left Long Hollow Road alive and he needed to quit protecting his family.”

News Channel 4 asked the OSBI if charges the sheriff is facing would affect their investigation.

"I'm not saying it wouldn't. I just don't know how it would at this point in time. We're certainly going to wait and see. We're going to continue to investigate. No matter who's arrested for what," Jessica Brown, with the OSBI, said.

As agents continue to search for answers, loved ones are holding on to hope.

"God has a plan here and Molly and Colt were used for that plan," Fielder said.

We expect to hear from one of the lead agents in this case next week.

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