Charges were filed Monday in the 18-year-old mystery, sources confirmed.
VINITA — Charges were filed Monday in the 18-year-old mystery of two teenagers who disappeared from the burning mobile home where one girl’s parents had been gunned down, according to sources.
Two other men, who are not indicted and have since passed away, are also involved in the slayings.
Craig County District Attorney Matt Ballard announced Monday a press conference is set for this afternoon regarding the 1999 slayings of Danny and Kathy Freeman and the disappearance of Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible.
During the night hours of Dec. 29, 1999, a shotgun blast tore apart Danny’s face, according to an autopsy report. Kathy was shot in the head and was found by investigators lying face down on the couple’s waterbed.
An accelerant was placed near the wood burning stove and by daybreak the mobile home was engulfed in flames, investigators have said about the crime scene over the years.
When the smoked cleared, Lauria’s car was still parked in front of the Freeman mobile home with the keys in the ignition and her purse, containing money, was found in the charred rubble of the Freeman mobile home.
Multiple law-enforcement agencies will participate in a news conference in Vinita at 2 p.m.
Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible were 16 years old when they celebrated Ashley’s birthday with a sleepover at the Freeman home in Welch on Dec. 29, 1999.
In the middle of the night on Dec. 29 or the early-morning hours of Dec. 30, 1999, someone drove down the dirt driveway to the Freeman residence. An accelerant was placed near the wood-burning stove. Investigators aren’t sure how long it took, but the mobile home became engulfed in flames.
The body of Kathy Freeman, Ashley’s mother, was discovered in the charred remains of the mobile home. A bullet, according to her autopsy report, had shattered her skull. The skull of Danny Freeman, found later at the scene, also was shattered, an autopsy showed. His extensive arrowhead collection could not be located in the rubble.
No evidence of Lauria and Ashley was found at that scene, but Lauria’s car was in the Freeman driveway with the keys in the ignition.
For years, investigators worked on the premise that an intruder or intruders killed the Freemans and the girls were collateral damage.
Jeremy Jones, 43, a convicted killer and rapist who once lived in Miami, Oklahoma, was a person of interest in the Freemans’ deaths. He has never been charged in the case and is on Alabama’s death row for the murder and rape of a Turnerville, Alabama, woman.
In a confession he later recanted to the media, Jones said the girls’ bodies were in a mineshaft in Galena, Kansas. A search of the area in 2005 turned up no remains.
The Freeman family had Ashley declared legally dead in 2010, according to court records.