MCALESTER, Okla. (KFOR) – Five years after an Oklahoma mother of three vanished, a man has been arrested for her murder.
After five years there is a break in the case.
The McAlester News-Capital reports that 36-year-old Cody Ketchum was arrested on a first-degree murder charge connected to the Cantrell case.
Ketchum is now being held on a $1 million bond.
Cantrell reportedly took her lunch break at 11:56 a.m. on Jan. 20, 2017 and never returned to work.
Surveillance video showed her getting into a green, short wheel base truck.
Cantrell was spotted at a nearby Braum’s about 20 minutes after she left work. However, she was never seen again.
According to the indictment, Ketchum is accused of deleting text messages from his cell phone that were sent between himself and Cantrell.
After locating the purse, a group of volunteers searched the Cardinal Point Recreation Area, hoping to find more clues. They found paperwork that belonged to Cantrell, but nothing else of significance.
In 2018, a rabbit hunter came across some human remains in the same wooded area where Cantrell’s purse was found.
The bones, which includes a partial skull, were scattered over an area measuring about 50 yards by 50 yards, the Pittsburg County Sheriff told the McAlester News- Capital.
Eventually, officials were able to confirm the remains were those of Cantrell.
Attorney General John O’Connor’s Office will prosecute this case.
“The multicounty grand jury is an invaluable resource the state depends on to assist law enforcement and prosecutors in complex cases like this,” said O’Connor. “I appreciate those serving in law enforcement, who assisted in this investigation, and those serving on the multicounty grand jury for their dedication to this public service. My staff is committed to investigating cold cases and will continue to seek justice for the families of victims of violent crime.”
Ketchum is charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of destroying evidence.