HENRYETTA, Okla. (AP) — Authorities searching a rural Oklahoma property for two missing teenagers discovered the bodies of seven people, including the suspected remains of the teens and a convicted sex offender who was sought along with them, the local sheriff said.
Okmulgee County Sheriff Eddy Rice said the state medical examiner will have to confirm the identities of the victims, but “we believe that we have found the persons.” He said Monday the bodies were believed to include those of 14-year-old Ivy Webster and 16-year-old Brittany Brewer, along with Jesse McFadden, the felon authorities had said the teens were traveling with.
“We are no longer looking,” Rice said. “We believe to have found everything that we were seeking this morning. Our hearts go out to the families and friends, schoolmates and everyone else.”
He declined to provide details of how they died or other details.
The bodies were found Monday during a search near the town of Henryetta, a town of about 6,000 located about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokesman Gerald Davidson said.
A missing endangered person advisory had been issued earlier in the day for the two teenagers before it was canceled Monday afternoon by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
The advisory for Webster and Brewer had said they were reportedly seen traveling with McFadden, who was on the state’s sex offender registry. Oklahoma Department of Corrections prison records show McFadden was convicted of first-degree rape in 2003 and released in October 2020.
Court records show McFadden was scheduled to appear in court Monday for the start of a jury trial on charges of soliciting sexual conduct with a minor and possession of child pornography. A message left Monday evening with McFadden’s attorney in that case was not immediately returned.
Brittany Brewer’s father told KOTV in Tulsa that one of the bodies discovered was his daughter.
“Brittany was an outgoing person. She was actually selected to be Miss Henryetta … coming up in July for this Miss National Miss pageant in Tulsa. And now she ain’t gonna make it because she’s dead. She’s gone,” Nathan Brewer said.
At a Monday night vigil, Brewer told hundreds of people: “It’s just a parent’s worst nightmare, and I’m living it.”
He said his daughter had aspired to be a teacher or a veterinarian.
“I am just lost,” he added.
Henryetta Public Schools posted on Facebook and its website that it is grieving over the loss of several of its students.
“Our hearts are hurting, and we have considered what would be best for our students in the coming days,” the note said. Officials said school would be in session, and mental health professionals and clergy would be on hand to help counsel students. But they said they would understand if families want to keep their children home from school.
In a separate Okmulgee County case, the bodies of four men were found Oct. 14 in the Deep Fork River in Okmulgee, a town of around 11,000 people that is about 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of Tulsa. Joseph Kennedy, 68, is facing four counts of first-degree murder in that case.