Community Searches For Girls

Monday, January 3rd 2000, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

Two families in Welch are terrified their missing daughters may also be in danger. They refuse to give up hope and plan to keep searching, as long as it takes.

This is the first day back at school after the holiday break for Welch high school students. Something is missing Ashley Freeman is usually in class with her friends.

"It's something you wouldn't think would happen in our town. It might happen in movies, but, not in real life," says Katie Dorsey, Ashley's friend.

"It's really upsetting at school. You never think it will happen to us, but, it does happen to us. At school, there's one empty chair and Ashley is supposed to be there and she's just not there," says Nicole Harden, Ashley's friend.

Several students met at their usual lunch hangout, to talk about the mysterious disappearance of Ashley Freeman and her best friend Lauria Bible.

"It's like it doesn't happen to your family, does not happen. Then, you think, can you as parents, protect your children," says Lauria's mother Lorene Bible.

The girls spent the night with Ashley's parents Wednesday night. Investigators say someone shot and killed Danny and Kathy Freeman with a shotgun, then set their home on fire to cover it up, the girls haven't been seen since, the Freeman's cars and Lauria Bible's car were still there as were Lauria's purse, id and money.

Family members wonder where they go next.

"We want to know where we go as a family, other than just sit at home. Sitting at home is driving us all insane," says Bible.

Mrs Bible says neither girl is the type to run away or get involved with someone who would do something so atrocious... they worry about what the girls are going through and are prepared to help them, if and when they come home.

"I feel like she's still alive. I don't have that gut feeling saying otherwise and I do sometimes get gut instincts on things like this. I think she's somewhere," says Bible.

No matter how long the girls' lockers sit empty, the families say they will never give up waiting, never give up hoping to see them safe and sound once again.

O-S-B-I agents interviewed family members of both girls today, but, still have few leads in the double murder or the disappearance.

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