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Missing Woman's Husband Arrested for Murder

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LAWTON Okla_ A gruesome discovery Thursday after Lawton police unearthed the body of a woman buried in the backyard of a Lawton home.

Police actually started searching late Wednesday night after they went to the home at 17th and Northwest Irwin to follow-up on a missing person's report. Detectives have been working around the clock since that initial call. They still have not released the victim's name, but late this afternoon, they announced an arrest in her death.

A family member of the woman initially reported missing said her sister's death was something she always feared.

It was a case that began as a missing person report, filed only two days ago. Family members had not heard from the woman in at least 10 days. A family member told police that the woman had previous bouts of abuse with her husband.

"The officers and detective initially came out here at 7:00PM to check on the missing person," Lawton Police Captain Craig Akard said.

When officers went to check on her welfare, her husband refused to let them in. Police quickly assigned an investigator to the case. It didn't take him long to have reason to believe that the woman had been seriously injured. So four hours later, police returned to the home. Once the husband let them inside, their suspicions became reality.

"When they went in the house to check on the welfare of the person, they noticed some possible blood on the wall," Akard said.

That was all police needed to see. Those findings led to a search warrant. Officers and detectives began searching the house and the backyard.

"They found what appeared to be a body buried in the backyard," Akard said. "That's when we contacted the state medical examiner's office."

It was there under an old, above-ground swimming pool that they discovered the body. It was beneath freshly disturbed ground in a plastic bag releasing a foul odor. With the morning sunlight, a team consisting of Lawton police, a forensic archeologist, and the state medical examiner began working to excavate the body and all evidence. They even utilized the Lawton Fire Department's equipment to further their investigation from a bird's eye view. Upon finding the body, police arrested the husband. They had been trailing him since that first encounter.

"He was located at one the local motels," Akard said. "We knew whenever he left the residence Wednesday night that's where he went. We had an officer watching that room all night long. Once we verified that there was a body, we went and made the arrest at that time."

The missing woman's husband was taken to the police department for questioning. After the interview, he was booked into the Lawton City Jail on a murder charge.

Lawton police are still actively investigating this case. The names of both the suspect and the victim are being withheld until confirmation is received from the state medical examiner's office.

 

 

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