Art Lawler Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
The new sheriff in Coal County may be making a few folks nervous these days after re-opening the cold case of a man who went missing 14 years ago.
Since winning office last November, Sheriff Bryan Jump has fielded questions concerning the whereabouts of Kevin Farris, who by now would be 48.
Nobody has admitted seeing Farris since he was 34 years old. In March of 1999, he and two other men went arrowhead hunting on property southwest of Tupelo (in Coal County).
The men who were with Farris that day told authorities Farris heard a noise near his truck and went back to check on it.
They told authorities that when it was time to go home, they walked back to Farris’ truck which was still where he had parked it.
They waited a while, and when Farris didn’t show, they figured he had gone somewhere else.
The men said they put a note on his windshield and left the area on foot.
Jump said he thinks a violent crime occurred and that Farris has been dead since at least April of 1999.
“We obviously have some suspects walking around that are capable of doing this again,” Jump said.
Evidence was collected at the scene in 1999 by both the Coal County Sheriff’s Department and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Until now, no one has reported finding Farris’ body. Investigators searched nearby ponds and wells to no avail.
However, something has been found now.
What it is, Jump isn’t saying until he gathers more information with the help of the OSBI.
He does admit the findings give him as well as Farris’ family new hope.
“Some viable information was received by our local law enforcement agency,” District Attorney Eric Johnson stated. “They followed up on that information.”
While not being specific about the new information, Jump said it was sufficient to spur his office and the OSBI to re-open the case.
“We’re throwing all our resources into this case,” Jump said.
“A crime that’s been committed in this jurisdiction doesn’t just go away,” Johnson said.
“We’ve got a lot of family members of Kevin Farris who are still in this community and they want closure,” Johnson said.
Jump asks anyone who has information about this case to call the Coal County Sheriff’s Office at 580-927-2121.
“With it being 14 years, the news came as quite a shock,” said Justin Farris, a half-brother to Kevin Farris, speaking on behalf of the family. “But we have faith in the current administration to bring closure.”