A new development has been made public in the investigation into the murder of 19-year-old Carina Saunders. For those of you new to the site, Carina was murdered in 2011 and parts of her dismembered body were found in a duffle bag behind a store in Bethany, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) says they believe there is a video of Carina’s murder somewhere out there and have offered a $10,000 reward for receipt of the video. Two men were arrested for her murder, but the charges were withdrawn, for now.
More recently, the OSBI searched two properties in Oklahoma City that belonged to a guy named Kenny Richards. Several items were collected at the sites by state investigators, although they have not commented on what those items are. Richards is believed to have prostituted Carina and is believed to have been the last person who saw Carina alive.
Now, court records have stated the OBSI received a cell phone from the DEA that contained a picture of Carina Saunders. The phone was seized by the DEA during a drug operation. The phone is said to belong to one Kenny Richards. Richards has stated publicly Carina was a friend of his and he did not kill her.
What I would like to know is what is it about the picture that made it important to the OBSI? Is it something in the picture itself, the date, or something else contained in the photo’s data? So far what I’m taking away from this is there’s a picture of Carina on a phone that belonged to a person of interest in the investigation, but someone who also knew Carina personally. To put it bluntly, I’m not seeing the big deal so far.
The warrants indicates a folding knife, shirt, windbreaker jacket, and slip-on sandals were recovered during the three-day excavation in Northwest Oklahoma City.
As has been mentioned previously, it could be months before any forensic evidence can reveal if these items are related to Carina’s murder.
What I also found interesting about the News9 article that I linked to above, is they seem to insinuate Kenny Richards may have had more involvement in the murder than he’s letting on. I hate to talk about someone who at least has not been arrested for the crime I’m posting about, but the property these items were found on belonged to Richards, and News9 has said court records show investigators had received tips claiming Richards allegedly drove Carina to where her body was found and he had buried her belongings in a metal drum on his property. Richards has steadfastly denied any involvement in Carina’s murder.
While I’m not necessarily defending Richards, in my opinion it seems like Carina’s murder was a multi-person affair. By walking an accusatory thin line, certain news outlets could be potentially jeopardizing the investigation by putting too much of the spotlight on any one person of interest. The brutal way Carina met her end demands justice and doesn’t need any more hindrances in bringing the guilty to justice.
As mentioned in my previous post, the man who used to own the properties is Kenny Richards. Not only is he believed to have allegedly prostituted Carina, he’s also believed to be the last person to see her alive according to news reports. After his name appeared in the news earlier this week he sent a series of text messages to local TV station News 9.
In a series of text messages, Richards said, “It [sic] all wrong…I told police everything I know.”
Richards explained via text Wednesday evening, “She [Saunders] was a friend of mine…I miss her, too!!” … “I have nothing more to say!!”
I’d be interested in knowing if News 9 reached out to Richards or if he reached out to them. They left that more than a little vague in their article.
The article does mention what items investigators were specifically looking for.
Saunders’ personal items were listed including shoes, socks, bra, underwear, belt, T-shirt, handbag and her wallet.
Investigators were also hoping to recover parts of her body that have been missing since she was found dismembered in a duffel bag in Bethany.
Considering they wrapped up their investigation of the properties early and said that the OSBI recovered items of interest, could they be finally getting closer to bringing Carina’s brutal killer or killers to justice? We can only hope.
Agents of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations have been searching two vacant properties in Oklahoma City for the additional remains of Carina Saunders. Carina was 19 when she was killed in 2011. Her dismembered body was found in a duffle bag behind a store in Bethany, Oklahoma. I was under the assumption that her complete remains had been found, but apparently I was mistaken.
Agents are using ground-penetrating radar in order to possibly find the last of Carina’s remains. The properties were rumored to have been occupied by people who allegedly knew who killed Carina but were too afraid to come forward due to fear of being killed themselves. While some may find this outrageous behavior, I can kind of understand because in the past there has been a theory that Carina may have been killed by a Mexican drug cartel as a way to send a message to someone close to her. While that may or may not be true, I could see how that could scare a neighborhood into silence.
So far the OBSI has not released what led them to check these properties or if they have found anything as of yet.
James Zarate was 14-years-old when he helped his older brother Jonathan brutally murder their 16-year-old Randolph, New Jersey, neighbor Jennifer Parks. For those of you not familiar with the story, Jennifer had been bullied by James Zarate and reported him to the school. To get back at Jennifer for his brother, Jonathan Zarate invited her over to his house to watch TV. Instead, the Zarate brothers brutally bludgeoned and stabbed Jennifer to death. In an effort to try to hide her body they dismembered Jennifer’s corpse and stuffed it into a trunk that they then put in the back of one of their parents’ Jeep. It was a full 24 hours before the pair, along with a friend, tried to dump Jennifer’s remains in the Passaic River. If it were not for a passing police officer, it may have been an eternity before Jennifer’s body would have been found.
Jonathan Zarate was convicted at trial and was sentenced to life plus 24 years. James was charged as an adult and was sentenced to life plus 14, but later had his sentence reduced by nine years. James Zarate has had many appeals denied, but now instead of appealing his conviction he’s trying to have his sentence reduced.
If you’re a regular reader of this site you’ll notice that Zarate’s attorney is trying a familiar ploy. In 2016, New Jersey passed a law stating that no one under 15 could be charged as an adult. Zarate’s defender is asking for a juvenile re-sentencing under this ruling arguing that a 14-year-old’s brain isn’t fully developed enough to understand their actions when they commit murder. If the ruling were to fall into Zarate’s favor, more than likely he would be released after time served.
As I have argued many times in the past, this is a load of crap, as a 14-year-old’s brain is developed enough to know what murder is. Zarate willingly participated in Jennifer’s murder and at any time could have gone to his parents, the police or Jennifer to warn her in advance. He did none of these things. Instead he took part in an act only the most bloodthirsty of killers would have committed. To have him ever breathe the air outside of a New Jersey prison would not only be a travesty of justice but an insult to Jennifer’s memory. He is where he belongs.
In particular the OSBI is looking into three individuals. The first is 41-year-old Judy Roberts who is believed to have possibly been on the way to the casino with Carina before she disappeared. Roberts is also believed to have crossed the Mexican drug cartels in some way. The next person is Kyle Savage. Savage is to believed to have sent a threatening Facebook message to someone in Carina’s family that allegedly said “I’m going to bury you next to Carina.” Savage can’t or won’t explain why he sent this message before Carina’s body had been found. Lastly, the OSBI seem to be interested in Kenny Richards, who investigators believe prostituted her before her death.
None of these people are Jimmy Lee Massey Jr. and Luis E. Ruiz, who were previously arrested for Carina’s murder, but charges were dropped against them due to lack of real evidence. However the charges were dropped without prejudice, so they could be arrested again if the evidence supports it.
I hope this will lead investigators to bring Carina’s killer, or killers, to justice. It doesn’t matter what Carina may have done in her short life, but she did not deserve to be brutally murdered, with her dismembered body stuffed in a duffel bag.
If anyone has any information about Carina’s murder please contact the OSBI Hotline at 1 (800) 522-8017.
19-year-old Carina Saunders’ mutilated body was found in a duffle bag behind a store in Bethany, Oklahoma, in 2011. It’s been long rumored that a video exists of Carina’s murder, now the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) believes that the video does exist. A week and a half ago the OBSI held a press conference where they have offered a $10,000 reward for the video.
The OBSI also released additional details about Carina’a murder and initial disappearance…
Family members last saw Saunders on Sept. 28, 2011, and her body was found Oct. 13, 2011. Investigators have located surveillance video from Oct. 8, 2011, outside the Newcastle Casino. Saunders is seen getting into a red, four-door Ford pickup with a brush guard and lights on the top, Florence said.
The only description of anyone inside the pickup is a man with full tattoo sleeves on both arms, he said.
“Also worth making note of is that there were girls nearby in a dark car who were pleading with Carina not to go with them. To this date, we don’t know who those girls were, but we would like to know who they were,” Florence said. “If they will come forward, we’d like to talk to them, find out what they saw, what they witnessed, why they were concerned about Carina’s safety and getting in this red pickup.”
It was 11 years ago today that 16-year-old Jennifer Parks, of Randolph, New Jersey, was brutally murdered by her neighbors, James and Jonathan Zarate. It may then be somewhat fitting that yesterday Jonathan Zarate had his latest sentencing appeal denied. Jonathan Zarate was 18 at the time of Jennifer’s murder and was convicted and sentenced to life in 2009.
Zarate’s latest appeal claimed that his counsel was ineffective by not further pursuing an insanity defense. The courts ruled that Zarate’s counsel did adequately pursue those options before pursuing a defense of diminished capacity.
Someone asked me earlier today if there is one particular crime that I’ve posted about that sticks out in my mind. That answer will always be Jennifer’s murder. Not only was it particularly violent, but it’s probably the most senseless murder I’ve ever posted about. Jennifer had so much potential to bring the world and the fact that she wasn’t able to is a travesty.
In 2011, 19-year-old Carina Saunders was brutally murdered and her dismembered body was found in a duffel bag behind a store in Bethany, Oklahoma. Arrest had been made in her murder but the individuals arrested have had the murder charges against them dropped. The case is currently being handled by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations.