'Let's Get Something Done': Senate Bill Filed In Honor Of Missing Welch Girls

Lauria and Ashley's law would make people convicted of accessory to murder in the first and second degree serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.

Sunday, November 5th 2023, 10:26 pm


A new senate bill has been filed this week in honor of two missing 16-year-olds.

Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman were kidnapped from a home in Welch in December 1999 and presumed killed.

Lauria and Ashley's law would make people convicted of accessory to murder in the first and second degree serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.

The bill is being filed after a suspect in Lauria and Ashley's case got out of jail early this past May.

A judge convicted Ronnie Busick for accessory to murder in Lauria and Ashley's case and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but got out in less than three years because of good behavior.

"When we found out that Ronnie Busick was getting released, that brought up another storm," said Lauria's mother Lorene.

"Like a punch in the gut, took me a while to process it," said Lauria's cousin Lisa Brodrick.

While there was nothing they could do to keep Busick from getting released they found another way to make an impact.

"As soon as Lisa and I made a connection, yes let's band together, let's get something done," said State Rep for House District 7 Steve Bashore.

Last June, Bashore filed Oklahoma House Bill 2946, Lauria and Ashley's law, that would make that change to sentencing requirements.

"We're out to make sure nothing like this can never happen again to another family because it's a nightmare," Bible said.

The family has been living that nightmare for nearly 24 years.

In 1999 Lauria was sleeping over at Ashley's home in Welch when they were kidnapped.

The teens still haven't been found.

"I started talking about her the minute she disappeared and I've not stopped since," Bible said.

Lorene says she'll never stop searching for Lauria and Ashley.

"I don't hide, I go fight so that's what I've done ever since," Bible said.

This time of year is always hard on Lorene.

"All that goes through my mind every day, 24 hours a day if she's alive, is she eating? Is she cold? Is she freezing to death? How is she being treated," Bible said.

Lorene and Lisa are hopeful that both Senate and House bills will be passed soon because their fight includes other families.

"Our biggest goal is of course is to bring the girls home, that's what we're still working for every day, and we will continue to work for every day, but on days where we can't do that because we dont know where to go, we don't know what to do, at least we have these laws we can work on," Brodrick said.

State Lawmakers will consider Lauria and Ashley's Law when they return to the Capitol in February.


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