Items found in Carina Saunders murder investigation made public

Items found in Carina Saunders murder investigation made public

Recently, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations had searched two properties in Oklahoma City and had found items of interest in the murder investigation of Carina Saunders. Now, a search warrant used by the OBSI has been released, detailing the items that they had found.

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.

Person of interest in Carina Saunders murder texts local news station

Person of interest in Carina Saunders murder texts local news station

Another odd development in an already bizarre story. After agents of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations finished examining some Oklahoma City properties in the Carina Saunders murder investigation, the person who once owned the properties responded to a local news station.

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.

‘Items of interest’ found in search for Carina Saunders’ remains

'Items of interest' found in search for Carina Saunders' remains
Carina Saunders

Yesterday, I posted that agents of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations had been searching two vacant properties in Oklahoma City for the additional remains of Carina Saunders. Today, agents said that they have found what they’re calling ‘items of interest’ after searching the Oklahoma City properties. Carina was murdered in 2011, and her partial remains were found in a duffle bag in Bethany, Oklahoma.

Investigators haven’t said what the items they found were, but said the items need to go under extensive forensic testing before any conclusions can be drawn from them.

What was not mentioned in yesterday’s news is that the properties they searched had once belonged to a man by the name of Kenny Richards. Richards is believed to have allegedly prostituted Carina shortly before her death. Human trafficking has been a recurring thread in this investigation, as there was once an assumption that Carina was killed in order to intimidate others into working for a sex trafficking ring. There is also believed to be a video of Carina’s murder out there in the wild and the state is offering a $10,000 award for any information leading to the arrest of Carina’s killer.

Again, if you have any information about Carina’s murder please contact the OSBI Hotline at 1 (800) 522-8017.

OSBI searching for possible additional remains of Carina Saunders

OSBI searching for possible additional remains of Carina Saunders
Carina Saunders

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.

Investigators are still asking that if anyone has any information about Carina’s murder please contact the OSBI Hotline at 1 (800) 522-8017.
Continue reading “OSBI searching for possible additional remains of Carina Saunders”

Craigslist caregiver charged with murder of missing TN man

Craigslist caregiver charged with murder of missing TN man
Pamela Bingham

59-year-old Ellis Vogt, of Fayette County, Tennessee, went missing in the summer of 2016 after hiring a caregiver off of craigslist. Back in February, his body was found and the caregiver, Pamela Bingham, had been arrested for theft for being in possession of some of Mr. Vogt’s property.

Recently, it was made public that Bingham has been charged with second-degree murder. According to an affidavit, butcher knives were found next to Mr. Vogt’s body that matched knives that were missing from his kitchen. Bingham allegedly went to great lengths to throw anyone off her trail…

Investigators said they discovered a burn barrel still smoldering outside Vogt’s home. They also discovered blood-soaked towels, a DVR recording device for the surveillance system, and a crowbar.

And why did she allegedly brutally murder a man who was just looking for someone to assist him around his home?

Surveillance video captured Bingham in the Walmart parking lot of Oakland, Tennessee on July 30, 2016, the day after Vogt was reported missing. The video shows Bingham making purchases inside the Walmart, but does not show that Vogt was with her.

I would lay odds that everything she bought from Wal-Mart was probably trivial at best and a flat-screen TV at best. This goes a long way in showing how low criminals who use craigslist are willing to stoop just to buy themselves some cheap crap.

Two suspects arrested in LetGo murder of Georgia man

Two suspects arrested in LetGo murder of Georgia man
Cicero Smith

I originally posted about the murder of 51-year-old Sam Norman here. Mr. Norman was shot and killed in DeKalb County, Georgia, earlier this month after going to meet someone he thought was selling a drone on the mobile marketplace app LetGo.

Yesterday, DeKalb County police announced that they had made an arrest but did not release any information about it. Today, it was announced that two suspects have been arrested for Mr. Norman’s murder. The suspects are 18-year-old Cicero Smith and an unnamed 15-year-old juvenile. Investigators were able to subpoena the user information from LetGo which led them to Smith. A search of Smith’s home is said to have turned up drone parts that were used in the ad. Smith is also believed to have shot Mr. Norman in the chest. Mr. Norman was said to have given pursuit in his vehicle before succumbing to his injuries. No word yet on if the juvenile will be charged as an adult.

As free apps like these become more prolific, and as more people ignore the safety issues, we will only see more bloodshed. Much like craigslist, since the barrier of entry to these apps is nil, it’s an easy allure for criminals looking to make a quick buck through robbery. However, hopefully the fact that LetGo assisted police in finding the suspect will let criminals know that they can be found.

Ga. father killed after going to meet a seller from LetGo

Ga. father killed after going to meet a seller from LetGo

51-year-old Sam Norman was shot to death last week in DeKalb County, Georgia, after planning to meet someone who claimed to be selling a drone on the LetGo app. If you haven’t seen their commercials, LetGo is a craigslist competitor in app form. Mr. Norman went to meet someone who was purportedly selling a drone, instead Mr. Norman was found in his truck having been shot to death.

Police are still searching for Mr. Norman’s killer and has been described by a witness as a man wearing a white T-shirt and a black hat. Investigators are combing LetGo for any possible leads.

Just because apps like LetGo and 5miles look slick and professional, and aren’t craigslist, doesn’t mean that the old rules don’t apply anymore. Meet during the day somewhere that is as public as possible, preferably at your local police station. Once some new facet of technology comes along, it doesn’t take very long for criminals to try to take advantage of it. Unfortunately, that sometimes can cost someone their life.

UPDATE 3/13/2017: An arrest has been made in Mr. Norman’s murder, however DeKalb County police have not released the alleged suspect’s name.

Teen craigslist killers set house on fire to cover their tracks

Teen craigslist killers set house on fire to cover their tracks
Johnsey and Lasiak

18-year-old Jerry Johnsey, of Auburndale, Florida, and 16-year-old Byron Lasiak, of Winter Haven, have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 67-year-old Donald Merkley, also of Winter Haven. Johnsey allegedly knew his victim through craigslist and was having sex with the victim prior to this. In this instance the pair went to the victim’s house and during sex Johnsey allegedly put Merkley in a chokehold until the victim fell unconscious. At that point Johnsey and Lasiak are said to have taken turns beating the victim in the head with a baseball bat. They then found some gasoline and spread it around the house before taking $2.75 they found on a counter.

The next day Johnsey is said to have returned to the Merkley’s house, poured more gasoline and started the fire. Initially, investigators thought the fire was started by an electric heater until Lasiak came forward.

If you’re looking for a friend with benefits or just a one night stand, I would avoid sites like craigslist. Due to its low level of entry and perceived level of anonymity it is a criminal haven. Hook-ups like this in the past from craigslist have led to crimes ranging from robbery to rape to murder. While craigslist isn’t the only dating avenue where these crimes happen I would say that it is the most prevalent one.

Tampa craigslist killing leaves father dead, two arrested

Williams and Johnson

44-year-old James Beck, of Tampa, Florida, was killed this past Tuesday after trying to sell his 16-year-old son’s dirt bike on craigslist. Beck and his son met a pair of individuals when one of them opened fire on Beck, striking him twice in the neck. The two suspects then ran off with the dirt bike. Beck unfortunately died on the scene from his injuries right in front of his son.

Police have arrested 16-year-old Ramontrae Williams and 17-year-old Dontae Johnson, and charged them with first-degree felony murder and robbery.

A GoFundMe has been set up by Beck’s family in order to pay for funeral and other expenses.

Sadly, I don’t have much else to add here. Craigslist should be considered too dangerous for anyone to use anymore. While you, the reader, may have found the perfect deal on craigslist, and have never had a problem, the number of people killed through craigslist is now in the triple digits. Craigslist has become nothing more than a dangerous game of Russian Roulette, and too many people are becoming victims to a deadly game that they don’t even realize they’re playing.

UPDATE 2/27/2017: Last week a grand jury indicted both teens, and they will be tried as adults.

UPDATE 3/2/2017: Williams has been denied bond.

Craigslist drug deal leads to two dead and two arrested

Craigslist drug deal leads to two dead and two arrested

Late Friday night, Michigan State Police found the bodies of Joseph Michael Carson, 31, and Anthony Lee Hammond, 39,both of Flint, Michigan. Both men had been shot to death in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in Owosso, Michigan. The two men were there to sell weed to two brothers from Grand Rapids that they had met through craigslist.

Instead, the two Grand Rapid brothers had allegedly intended on robbing the pair and shot them. The two brothers, ages 31 and 23, have been arrested, but as of yet their names have not yet been released.

In case you were wondering, even in states where recreational marijuana is legal it’s still illegal to sell it online. In either case Michigan is not one of those states. If you sell anything on craigslist you’re taking your life in your hands, but if you’re selling something illegal those chances increase dramatically. I’m not saying that these men deserved to die, but there is obviously no honor among criminals.

UPDATE 2/3/2017: The suspects have been named as 31-year-old Otis Smith and 23-year-old Anthony Holloway, and both being held without bond.