The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

March 24, 2007

Oklahoma officials reopen ‘cold’ cases

By Sheila Stogsdill

JAY, Okla. — Delaware County authorities have reopened two 20-year-old cold cases of men who disappeared under suspicious circumstances. They are hoping additional witnesses will come forward, said Charlie Melton, sheriff’s captain.

“Up until now, we haven’t been able to get anybody to work (on these cold cases),” Melton said.

An anonymous telephone tip alerted authorities to search abandoned wells in southern Delaware County almost two years ago for the remains of Johnnie Ball, Melton said. Parts of a shoe or boot, an empty brown billfold and bone fragments were the only items found at one site, he said. The fragments were animal bones.

Ball, 60, was reported missing from his Kansas, Okla., home on Sept. 28, 1988. Ball was declared legally dead in 1996.

According to Melton, Ball was last seen on Sept. 27, 1988, in a green Dodge vehicle in the Twin Oaks and Siloam Springs, Ark., area.

Melton said he has been interviewing about 45 people in the past two years and searched about five sites, all yielding nothing.

However, Melton said after reviewing more old tips authorities now plan to dig at a location in southern Delaware County in the next few weeks. He would not discuss that information further.

The day before he disappeared, Ball had told his brother-in-law that he was coming into some money and if it went well, he would be set for life, his wife, Betty Ball, said in a 2005 interview that appeared in the Globe.

Betty Ball also told authorities that someone came by their house and took some of her husband’s clothing and a puppy, he said.

The family said Ball never signed up for Social Security benefits and believe he was murdered and buried in a well.

“We presume he (Ball) is dead, we just don’t know a motive,” Melton said.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0420earthday.jpg Prairie State Park kicks off Earth Day events

    Prairie State Park began celebrating Earth Day early with an event Saturday that provided a chance for people of all ages to learn more about how they can protect the environment.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Catholic schools to hold annual spring auction

    The Joplin Area Catholic Schools spring auction will be staged Saturday at the Jack Lawton Webb Convention Center, 5300 S. Range Line Road in Joplin.

    April 19, 2014

  • Wally Kennedy MUG72.jpg Wally Kennedy: Another pizza choice and ice cream on the way

    A new pizza restaurant is coming to the northwest corner of Stone’s Corner in the Village of Airport Drive. Piez is opening this week in a storefront that formerly housed Quincy Magoo’s, 6039 N. Main Street Road, which has been closed for more than two years.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mike pound_cnhi .jpg Mike Pound: No more hiding Easter eggs or emotions

    Well, that’s a wrap on the Easter egg hunts. For about 15 years we have staged not one, but two Easter egg hunts for our now 16-year-old daughter, Emma.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Enrollment open for Joplin summer school

    Enrollment is now open for the Joplin school district’s summer school session, which will run Wednesday, June 4, though Tuesday, July 1.

    April 19, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

Must Read


Missouri Republicans are considering a new approach to prevent federal agents from enforcing laws the state considers to be infringements on gun rights: barring them from future careers in state law enforcement agencies. Do you think this proposal has merit?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter