The Craig County sheriff said Wednesday that a report claiming a threat to a witness in the Welch homicide case from 1999 is incorrect. The report credited an "unnamed official" for saying "warning shots" were fired in a threat against a witness, according to Sheriff Heath Winfrey.
The report was thoroughly investigated, he said.
"Work by multiple members of various law enforcement agencies concluded the report was unfounded, not substantiated and police found no credible threats," Winfrey said in a news release.
"Reporting unsubstantiated information regarding a threat and shots fired as confirmed fact only serves to intimidate people with knowledge of the whereabouts of the bodies of Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible. Which could discourage them from sharing what they know with investigators," the sheriff continued.
Winfrey said authorities would address any concerns from witnesses and thanked those who diligently covered the facts of the case "with the goal of justice for the girls in mind."