OKFUSKEE CO., Okla. – A mother is speaking out. Her daughter has been missing for nearly a decade – and has a connection to the two bodies found earlier this week in Okfuskee County.
The bodies are those of Jenna Scott and Michael Swearingin – who have been missing since early this month from Temple, Texas.
The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed their identities Thursday.
“I’m hoping that I’ll finally find out where my daughter is,” Dottie Pease told KXAN.
Dottie has been holding on to that hope for nearly a decade. The last time her daughter, April Pease, was seen was March of 2009 in Minnesota.
Dottie admits – her daughter struggled with substance abuse. She said she made the move to Minnesota to seek treatment but claims there was an additional reason.
“And to get away from Cedric Marks,” she told KXAN.
Marks is the father of Dottie’s child.
If his name sounds familiar – here’s why: he’s also the ex-boyfriend of Jenna.
Jenna and Swearingin have been missing since January 4 out of Temple, Texas. Authorities believe their bodies were found Monday in Okfuskee County buried in a shallow grave – a crushing blow for the victims’ families, who had been wishing for a better outcome.
“A lot of ups and downs, a lot of emotion… There’s points of time where we just break down and cry but, of course, sometimes we feel hopeful,'” Jenna’s father, Jonathan Scott, told KXAN.
Jenna filed a protective order against Marks.
According to court documents obtained by KXAN, Jenna said “He told me he had killed someone in Oklahoma, but that he was able to cover it up and that he could do the same here in Texas.”
Marks was arrested last week for allegedly breaking into Jenna’s Temple, Texas home in August.
To be clear, Marks has not been named as a suspect or person of interest in the disappearance of April, Jenna or Swearingin.
However – with all of this news coming to light, April’s mother is speaking out about her daughter’s relationship with Marks.
“He would threaten her, tell her she couldn’t see anybody,” Dottie told KXAN.
Dottie recalls moments with her daughter right before she left to start a new life.
“I remember turning around, and looking at her and just saying to myself that I hope she stays on this path,” she told KXAN.
Dottie is still holding onto that hope – nearly a decade after she last saw her daughter.
According to an arrest affidavit in Bell County, Texas, obtained by KXAN – Marks’ girlfriend told detectives she was involved in leaving Swearingin’s vehicle in Austin.
Marks’ wife has also been arrested – accused of harboring a fugitive.
Once again, Marks has not been named a suspect or a person of interest in the deaths or disappearance.