Bodies Exhumed in Pittsburg County to Help Push Cold Case Forward

Friday, May 17th 2019, 7:39 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

PITTSBURG COUNTY – In an effort to push a 1995 cold case forward, the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office removed the bodies of a man and woman from their graves so they can be identified.

For nearly a quarter century the bodies of two people known as John and Jane Doe have been buried in a rural cemetery north of McAlester. Investigators hope that soon, they'll know their real names.

A small cross sits on the dirt, just days after the couple's bodies were removed from Dorsey Cemetery, nearly 24 years after their burial.

"It was something that really needed to be done because there's some family out there somewhere,” Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Investigator George Scott said.

Scott, who worked at the McAlester Police Department for 30 years, came out of retirement to work on cold cases with Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris.

"I took him to the cold case file and I said, 'Well here you go. Here's ya a stack of 'em,’” Morris said.

Some of the other cases they’re working on are those of Darla Rose and Harve Rodden. John and Jane Doe are the only unnamed victims in the cold cases they're working right now.

The two were found shot to death in April of 1995 near a guardrail outside McAlester city limits.

"The boy was shot once, the girl was shot twice,” Scott said.

The OSBI made facial reconstruction models of the married couple, but years later there are still no answers about who they were. Morris and Scott said they’re expecting advanced DNA technology to give them a second chance at solving the case.

Morris was a dispatcher back in 1995, working with Scott at the McAlester Police Department.

"I remember this case,” Morris said. “When I was 18, 19 years old. And to be able to hopefully solve it, find the families and give them some closure, it'd be very fulfilling for me."

Now, the two are proud to be working side-by-side again, hoping to put an end to the mystery.

The sheriff says it could be a year or more before the couple is identified. While investigators wait for answers, they're asking anyone with information to give them a call at (918) 423-5858.