VINITA — Ronnie Busick will spend at least the next 10 years in prison.
Busick, the lone suspect in the 1999 murder of Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman who is still alive, received a 10-year sentence as well as a five-year suspended sentence Monday, Aug. 31 at the Craig County Courthouse.
Busick, 69, who pleaded guilty in July, was given the option of a reduction in his sentence by showing authorities where the bodies of Bible and Freeman were located.
But numerous searches over the years, including two of an old root cellar near Picher in August, did not recover remains of the girls.
As a result, he was sentenced on one count of accessory to murder.
Busick, jailed since April 2018, was given credit for time served.
Bible and Freeman, both 16 at the time, vanished Dec. 30, 1999.
The bodies of Freeman’s parents, Danny and Kathy Freeman, were found in the burned-out shell of their mobile home west of Welch.
Lauria was spending the night at Ashley’s home to celebrate Ashley’s birthday.
Investigators have tracked down countless leads from across the country over the years.
Two other suspects in the case — Philip Welch and David Pennington — are now dead.
Busick originally had been arrested and charged on four counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping and one count of first-degree arson.
Busick, 69, from Wichita, Kansas, reached a plea agreement on July 15 and all original charges were dropped.
The OSBI still is asking the public to call if they have any leads in the case. Call 1-800-522-8017 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.