PRYOR (AP) — Some of the evidence taken from the slayings of three Girl Scouts in eastern Oklahoma more than 30 years ago is now undergoing new forensic testing, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
The OSBI said in a news release last week that its Cold Case Unit began reviewing the case three years ago and has identified evidence that may reveal clues. Those items were sent to a private lab for testing that the OSBI is unable to perform.
The bodies of Lori Lee Farmer, 8, of Tulsa; Michelle Guse, 9, of Broken Arrow; and Doris Denise Milner, 10, of Tulsa were discovered June 13, 1977, at Camp Scott near Locust Grove after they were abducted from their tent during the night.
A prison escapee, Gene Leroy Hart, was later arrested and charged with murder and rape in the case, but he was acquitted in 1979. Hart died about two months later in prison, where he was serving a more than 300-year sentence for previous rape and kidnapping convictions.
The specific items most recently submitted were not revealed, but OSBI Director Stan Florence said more than 200 items have been provided for testing.
“The Girl Scouts murder investigation has been one of the most extensive investigations in OSBI’s 89-year history,” Florence said in the release. “When I became director three years ago, I authorized a comprehensive review of the entire case to identify any possible leads we may further develop and explore additional scientific measures that could draw a clear conclusion to the case.”
At the request of Lori Lee Farmer’s parents, Dr. Charles and Sheri Farmer, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has agreed to assist with the case and has met with Mayes County Sheriff Mike Reed and OSBI officials.
“For the last year, the Mayes County Sheriff’s Office has been working hand in hand with the OSBI and NCMEC to review the case from every possible angle. Our sole mission has been to pull our agencies together as one team, try to find some answers, and bring final justice for the families and citizens of Mayes County,” Reed said.
Sheri Farmer said she appreciates the latest effort to find her daughter’s killer.
“We are grateful for the time and effort the OSBI and other law enforcement agencies have given to our case,” Farmer said.