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Authorities identify man arrested in connection to case of 2 Oklahoma girls missing since 1999

OKLAHOMA – A suspect is in custody in connection to the case of two Oklahoma girls who have been missing since 1999.

December 30-31, 1999, the bodies of Danny and Kathy Freeman were found inside their burned home near Welch.

They were shot and killed before their home was set on fire.

The Freeman’s 16-year-old daughter Ashley and her friend Lauria Bible were missing.

Lauria, 16, was staying the night at Ashley’s house to celebrate Ashley’s birthday.

Ashley Freeman, Lauria Bible (Photos via National Center for Missing & Exploited Children)

The Craig County sheriff called OSBI special agents to help investigate.

For years, agents and many other investigators have followed numerous leads, interviewing a multitude of possible witnesses and suspects while searching wells and other possible burial sites.

However, in December 2017, officials said leads gathered that year could be a turning point in the case.

An OSBI agent and District 12 District Attorney’s Office investigator have interviewed several people who possess knowledge about the murders and the missing girls.

In December 2017, Craig County Sheriff Heath Winfrey provided investigators with previously unknown notes and documents he discovered referencing the Freeman/Bible case left from the previous sheriff’s administration.

Those notes and documents have proven extremely valuable.

Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible (family photo)

According to Fox 23, a suspect is in custody in connection to the crimes related to the girls’ disappearance.

Authorities said Ronnie Dean Busick, 66, was arrested Sunday.

Busick is charged with four counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping and one count of arson.

Ronnie Dean Busick

Two other people who were also possibly involved in the crimes are deceased, Fox 23 reports.

Authorities identified those people as Warren Phillip Welch II and David A. Pennington.

Investigators reportedly told family members that they believed the two girls were kept alive, but are likely dead now.

Authorities are still investigating and are searching for clues about where the victims may be buried.