McCURTAIN COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says an arrest has been made in a cold case almost three decades after a man’s skeleton was found in rural McCurtain County.

On September 30, 2022, the OSBI and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol arrested John Wesley Smith for the 1993 murder of John Randall O’Steen.

John Wesley Smith mugshot
John Wesley Smith, Courtesy: Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

According to the OSBI, the investigation into O’Steen’s murder began on May 20, 1993 when an anonymous caller told the McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office where his remains could be found.

After several days of searching, the skeletonized remains of an unidentified white male were located in a wooded area southeast of the Panki Bok Community near Eagletown.

The Medical Examiner’s Officer determined the manner of death was homicide.

OSBI officials say during the investigation, Smith was identified as a potential suspect in the February 1993 disappearance and murder of O’Steen.

In 2012, a rib from the unidentified remains was sent to the University of North Texas Department of Forensic and Investigative Genetics for possible DNA identification.

At that time, DNA was collected from O’Steen’s parents for comparison.

UNT compared the DNA to the that of the rib bone and it was a match to O’Steen.

An arrest warrant was issued for Smith on September 30, 2022 and he was taken into custody that same day.

Smith is in the McCurtain County jail facing one count of Murder in the First Degree. He is being held without bond.