OSBI: Search of property in Carina Saunders case could take days

OSBI on-scene of a home in the 500 block of Oakdale Dr. investigating a possible link to the Carina Saunders case. (Julie Calhoun/KOKH)

Agents with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation are searching homes in northwest Oklahoma City, for evidence that could be connected to a gruesome 2011 murder.

The OSBI reports they are executing a search warrant, at 504 and 504 1/2 Oakdale Drive in relation to the Carina Saunders case. The search began April 10.

"[We're here] because our information we received based upon our plea last October for information brought us here to this location," OSBI Spokesperson Jessica Brown said. "We're searching an area with our ground penetrating radar to look for any anomalies in the ground... that doesn't mean that we're going to find anything that will helps us with the case, but we will find an anomaly then we have an excavation backhoe out here to dig for us."

Crews are also sifting through dirt and rummaging through containers.

Monday afternoon, investigators bagged up what appeared to be a shirt and a bag that had been buried near a tree.

The property was once owned by Kenny Richards. Search warrants filed last year show that Richards is a convicted felon accused of making a nude video and of "pimping out" Saunders in the weeks before her death.

OSBI said the current tenants of the homes are not involved in the case.

A neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said she knew Richards. She said she had heard he was involved in Saunders' death.

"I had heard that the man living there knew about what happened and he knew who did it but if he told, he would be killed and his family would be killed," she said.

Saunders' body was found Oct. 13, 2011, after a foul odor was detected near a then-Homeland grocery store in Bethany. Police found her body in separate pieces in a nylon bag. Bethany police asked OSBI special agents to take over the investigation in 2012.

"Since OSBI took over the case several years ago, we have developed a lot of leads, a lot of information," Brown said. "It's a very complex case with a lot of information. We just have to cipher through all the information and this is doing that right now."

Luis Enrique Ruiz was arrested in June 2012, eight months later. Ruiz and another man, Jimmy Massey, were both charged with first degree murder. In February 2013, the charges were dropped and both men were released.

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