Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Saunders, Bransby, Fitzpatrick, and Adams: The Lost Girls One Year Later

It was about a year ago that things started to get decidedly gruesome in Oklahoma City.

On September 28th of 2011 Carina Saunders was reported missing by her family. On October 13th her dismembered and beheaded body was discovered in a duffel bag deposited in a field behind a grocery store in the tiny suburb of Bethany. The media went wild with the lurid news. Over the past 365 days it seems a whole platoon of names have been bandied about in the press. Only two of those names seem to remain germane to the case. Those are Luis Ruiz and Jimmy Massey. Both men are charged with Saunders' death and are currently being held in the Oklahoma County jail. All the rest, and at least one suspected murder scene have faded from the stories and minds of many who have followed the case.

Police have speculated that a video of the crime exists, or did exist, or might have existed. The problem is, unless authorities are keeping it a secret, no one appears to know where the cell phone video is. In fact it is beginning to take on all the trappings of an urban myth. So and so knows someone who saw part of it. Another person might have a copy. Yes, yes and that television furniture guy had to have a gerbil removed from his ass. At this point, again, unless the cops are holding out on the public, there is no real proof that it was ever shot. As far as I know, no trial date has been set and it appears the most damning evidence against the accused is a series of jail house confessions made to other inmates by Massey.

On October 27th of last year Kelsey Bransby was found shot and dying in a south side OKC apartment. Two of her friends, Cole Hopper and Danielle Cooley have been charged in connection with the killing. No trial date has been released for either of the suspects who are residing in the Cleveland County detention center. At least one reader of this blog suggests that the entire thing was a terrible accident, although the charge against Hopper is 2nd degree murder. Neither suspect helped their cause by reportedly fleeing the scene of the shooting and initially denying they had anything to do with Bransby's death.

On November 4th Alina Fitzpatrick was dropped off near NW 23rd and Western by a friend. Police found her naked body in a field on November 9th near NE 43rd and Anderson Road. She had suffered bruises and contusions and had a gag stuffed in her mouth. The police refuse to call her death a homicide because none of the obvious injuries were fatal and her system had an incredible amount of meth in it.

In a story by The Oklahoman's Bryan Dean, OKCPD Captain Dexter Nelson was quoted as saying, "She was with people who were involved in illegal behavior at the time, no doubt." He went on to say, "Detectives are at a point where they could use some help. They have talked to a lot of people, but don't have all the answers yet." The dateline of that article was January 29th, 2012. No arrests have been made, no persons of interest have been identified. Her name and the case have not been mentioned in the local press since then. It would appear police still don't have "all the answers."

On December 10th, 2011 Justin Adams reported his wife Jaymie missing. Her body was found on January 7th of this year off a dirt road near Lake Stanley Draper in southeast Oklahoma City. Depending on which report you read she was stabbed either 18 or 29 times and so severely beaten that her jaw was broken in three places.

Ms. Adams was advertising as a massage therapist on Craigs List, but that was a ruse. She was in fact pulling down tricks. She had gone to a McDonald's the night she disappeared to meet "a friend."

According to the police her husband changed his story about where he was that night several times and failed a polygraph test when asked if he knew where his wife was. In addition cell phone records show that both he and his wife were making calls routed through the same towers in the area.

He was arrested and chucked away in the county lockup and charged with her murder. Then something else happened. Police, after obtaining a search warrant, took DNA samples from a guy named Joseph Cyr. Cyr moved from OKC shortly after the killing and is reportedly the only man questioned by police who refused to voluntarily submit a DNA sample. Within a month after taking the sample from Cyr, Justin Adams, who had been held without bond, was sprung on $100,000 bail. Police maintain he remains their primary suspect, but one has to think there is more going on than what they are releasing to the public.

Justin Adams claims he and his wife were "swingers" and active in that lifestyle. She was pregnant with her fifth child when she was killed.

So after nearly a year the deaths of these four women remain unsolved. People have been charged in three of them, but no one has been brought to trial. No one has truly answered for the brutal crimes. In the case of Alina Fitzpatrick even the hope of some answers as to who and why seem to have faded to the point of nothingness.

It was a deadly autumn in the metro area last year and the wheels of justice have turned ever so slowly. None of the women are forgotten either by family, or friends, but they are gone. And until someone heads off to jail for the rest of his or her life, or takes a needle for what they have done, all four of them will remain, tragically, lost.

10-3-12  

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