Arrest made in nearly 2-decade-old murder, kidnapping case

ronnie dean busick.jpg

Three suspects finally named in an almost 20-year-old cold case.

Two of those suspects are dead, but Craig County District Attorney Matt Ballard said Ronnie Dean Busick was arrested and charged for the 1999 deaths of Danny and Kathy Freeman near Welch, and the disappearance of their daughter Ashley Freeman and her friend, Lauria Bible. Both were 16 at the time.

"Phil Welch, Dave Pennington and Ronnie Busick killed Mr. and Mrs. Freeman, abducted the teenage girls, and set fire to the Freeman home," said Ballard during a press conference in Vinita Monday.

A day Lauria's mom, Lorene, has waited a long time for.

"It's been 18 years, three months and 26 days to this point. We're not finished," said Lorene.

Ballard said they discovered some disturbing news during the course of the investigation.

"The girls had been kept alive for an unknown number of days following the fire. Polaroid photographs of the girls in their final days were seen by multiple people," said Ballard.

According to the affidavit, the girls were tied up, tortured and abused during those final days.

Lorene said there may have been an arrest, but her daughter and Ashley's body haven't been found.

"I will not stop until we bring the girls home," said Lorene.

Investigators with OSBI said they're not giving up until they find the bodies of those girls.

If you know anything, you're asked to give them a call at 1-800-522-8017.

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