The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

December 30, 2009

More than 100 people attend vigil for missing girls

By Krista Duhon

VINITA, Okla. — Ten years after their daughter and her best friend disappeared from a rural Welch residence, Lorene and Jay Bible leaned on the simple pine altar of Vinita’s First Church of God and said they will be vigilant in their efforts to bring their daughter home.

“I said a decade ago that I did not want to be standing here in 10 years,” Lorene Bible said. “I did not want to be a mother who suffered for 10 years.”

She said she will continue to use all the resources available to her to keep her daughter’s name in the media and will pray that someday Lauria Bible — who would now be 26 years old — will be found.

Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman were last seen a decade ago. They celebrated Freeman’s 16th birthday together at the Freeman residence in rural Craig County. It was on that night, Dec. 30, 1999, that Freeman’s parents were shot to death and their home was torched.

Authorities believe the girls were abducted and most likely killed.

On Wednesday night, more than 100 friends and family members gathered at the church in Vinita for a prayer vigil to remember the girls.

“If Lauria is dead, let that be my burden. I will deal with that,” Lorene Bible said. “But, I will bring her home — even if she is passed on.”

The Bibles said they find peace through their faith in God, and that his sustaining hand has guided them even when it seemed they did not have the strength to put one foot in front of the other.

Their faith also has helped them to move forward, Jay Bible said.

“One day, we will know what happened to our daughter,” he said.

His words echoed the sentiments of his brother-in-law, the Rev. Lindey Leforce, who spoke briefly at the vigil.

“There are a lot of questions about if the girls are dead or alive, but there is one thing that is certain,” Leforce said. “Either God is with them and they are alive, or they are with God. Either way, God is part of it.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Embezzler from Joplin car dealerships sent to prison

    A federal judge has sentenced Kathryn M. Stayton to 13 months in prison for embezzling more than $100,000 from Frank Fletcher Ford and Credit Cars of Joplin. U.S. District Judge Greg Kays assessed the 36-year-old Joplin woman the prison term at a sentencing hearing this week in federal court in Springfield. The judge also ordered the former controller at both car dealerships to pay restitution totaling $121,249. 51.

    April 18, 2014

  • Screening of MSSU presidential applicants to wrap by end of April

    The Board of Governors at Missouri Southern State University could be in a position to name a president as early as the end of June, according to a timeline presented Friday by the co-chair of the presidential search committee.

    April 18, 2014

  • Teams from Carl Junction, Diamond advance in Destination Imagination

    Student teams from Carl Junction and Diamond will be traveling to Destination Imagination finals May 20-24 in Knoxville, Tenn., after being top finishers in competition this month at Missouri Southern State University.

    April 18, 2014

  • Neosho Dogwood Tour reset, after false start

    The 53rd annual Neosho Dogwood Tour will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 27. The event, presented by the Neosho Rotary Club and the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, originally was scheduled for Sunday, April 13.

    April 18, 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

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Pittsburg Farmer's Market to open in new building, new location

    The official market season in Pittsburg, Kan., will kick off in the market’s new pavilion-style building at a new address, 11th and Broadway, on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Market hours will continue throughout the season on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon, with some Wednesdays or other special days throughout the season as announced.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read


A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. Would you vote in favor of it?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter