Welch Fire Claims 2 and Leaves 2 Missing

Monday, January 3rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Two families and the entire community of Welch in Craig County, are frantically searching for two missing girls. The search began after a fire killed one of the girls' parents, Danny and Kathy Freeman.

The first order of business was to pass out flyers with the girls' pictures on them family and friends say they need help finding Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible.

"This is unheard of, this is just a bizarre circumstance," says Lonnie Freeman, relative.

This bizarre chain of events began Thursday morning when someone called the fire department to say the Danny and Kathy Freeman's trailer was on fire Kathy's body was found on the bed, her husband, at the foot of the bed and their daughter, Ashley and her best friend, Lauria were gone.

"Lauria had her own license and vehicle and it was here with the keys in it and her purse and id were found in the fire. There's no possibility they left her under their own power," says Freeman.

Some 300 people searched for miles around the home on Saturday by horse and on a-t-v's they even used bloodhounds, but, found nothing.

"Her and Ashley, since first grade, have been best friends," says Stanley Bible, Lauria's father.

Teachers and friends say the girls are well behaved, involved in school, good students, not the type to run off and not call anybody they fear they're victims of foul play and have a plea to whoever might have them.

"I would just ask, don't harm those babies. Just turn them lose, let them go and walk away, that's the best I could hope for," says Bible.

Hoping for the best, is about all that's left for this small community as it prays for the safe return of two of its own. If you know anything about this case or the whereabouts of the two girls, you can call the Craig County Sheriff's Department at 918-256-6466.