Authorities Exhume Body Believed To Be Murdered Pawhuska Oilman

Thursday, September 10th 2015, 1:59 pm
By: News On 6

Osage County Sheriff’s deputies exhumed a body from a shallow grave on a property just south of Wynona. The body has been taken to the medical examiner's office to be identified.

Family members believe the grave is of their loved one – well-known oilman and cowboy Rick Holt, 46 -- who was reported missing on Tuesday when he failed to show up for work and didn't answer his phone.

Holt is a longtime Osage County citizen.

Two Pawhuska-area brothers – Jeremy Reece and Tyler Reece – have been arrested in conjunction with Holt’s disappearance and apparent murder. They are being held without bond.

Court documents say Jeremy Reece, 31, told authorities he and his brother buried Holt on Holt family property.

News On 6 obtained the arrest warrant for 18-year-old Tyler Reece. According to the document, investigators have reason to believe Tyler was recruited by his older brother Jeremy to confront Holt about a romantic relationship Holt was having with Jeremy’s ex-wife.

Court records show Jeremy Reece filed for divorce against Claudette Reece in 2010 and it was finalized later that year. Holt and Claudette Reece reportedly had started a relationship over the last month.

The affidavit says Jeremy Reece claimed Holt texted pictures to him that depicted Claudette Reece unconscious. The photos have not been located, recovered or proven to exist at this time, according to the Osage County Sheriff’s Office.

The affidavit claims the Reece brothers drove out to Holt ranch early Friday morning and confronted Holt.

According to a news release from Osage County, Holt was last seen alive driving his pickup shortly after midnight as he was leaving the Country Club in Pawhuska. Holt’s pickup has been located at his residence southwest of Pawhuska.

The affidavit says Jeremy Reece admitted that he and Tyler Reece took Holt's body to an oil lease where they dug a grave and buried him.

"Based on information obtained from text messages and interviews conducted by the Osage County Sheriff’s Office, a shallow grave was located in rural Osage County," a release says.

The news of Holt’s disappearance rocked Pawhuska, with many saying Holt is a friendly, honest man who loves children, everyone knows and likes him,  and he always finds the laughter in everything. Holt even was well known in his youth, as he was a state champion wrestler for Pawhuska in the 1980s and a frequent local rodeo participant. He is a "yes, ma'am, no ma'am," type of man and for anyone to want to kill him is shocking, friends say.

Jeremy Reece was arrested on Wednesday morning and Tyler Reece was arrested in Oklahoma County around 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

The elder Reece is a father and, according to court records, has no history except for a protective order once issued against him the day after he filed for divorce, and a misdemeanor property damage case that was dismissed the same month he was granted a divorce.

The younger Reece recently graduated from Pawhuska High School. According to the Bigheart Times, Tyler Reece was the salutatorian of his class, a standout football player and now is a student at the University of Central Oklahoma and part of the U.S. Army JROTC program there.

The sheriff’s office says the Reece brothers are being held for conspiracy to commit a felony, but more charges could be added.