Capt. Ronnie Hampton, Commander Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop F, headquartered in Ardmore, said multiple law enforcement agencies continue to attempt to locate Molly Miller, 17, and Colt Haynes, 21, who were reportedly seen inside a stolen Honda eight days after the Wilson teenager was reported missing June 28.
Friday Hampton outlined the case, what agencies are involved and which aspects of the case each agency is investigating:
— Wilson Police are investigating the disappearance of Miller and the circumstances of who the occupants were inside the reported stolen vehicle. (Wilson police pursued a 2012 Honda Accord July 7 south on state Highway 76. The car entered Love County and took county roads. Hampton said law enforcement lost site of the vehicle due to dangerous driving and dirt roads
— On July 8 a Lone Grove resident reported the car stolen.
— Approximately two weeks later the stolen Honda was recovered on rural property in Love County by the Love County Sheriff's Department. This vehicle was processed by the Lone Grove Police Department who took the stolen vehicle report from the owner.
— The Oklahoma Highway Patrol opened an investigation into the damage done to the stolen/crashed car which Hampton described as "cosmetic damage that resulted in several thousand dollars of damage in excess of the statutory limits that require a collision report."
— The U.S. Marshal's Service adopted an outstanding warrant for the missing Haynes from the Carter County warrant (failure to pay cost and fines on conviction of endeavoring to manufacture methamphetamine)
— Carter and Love County Sheriff's Offices are following leads in the attempt to locate both Miller and Haynes, based on report they were in the stolen Honda during the pursuit on July 7
— The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is assisting all law enforcement agencies with collecting evidence and conducting interviews
"All law enforcement agencies are cooperating and working together to locate Colt and Molly and to solve the crimes that were committed on July 7th and 8th involving the pursuit and stolen vehicle," Hampton maintains.
The investigations have included countless interviews, searches for physical evidence, ground and air searches.
Unfortunately a cloud of misinformation has also floated above the multi-agency investigative effort.
"Due to social media, a lot of information and rumors have occurred, with most being unsubstantiated," Hampton said. "All of the agencies have put an incredible amount of man-hours into this case and will continue. The DA is updated regularly and when law enforcement collects enough evidence to make arrests that will be done. In the United States we must prove a person is guilty 'beyond a reasonable doubt' with evidence. That evidence must meet the elements of the crime which we allege someone committed. This is a high burden and, for that reason, cases take time to build."
Carter County Sheriff Ken Grace confirmed the united law enforcement effort.
"We are all still actively investigating leads. We're working together to clear this case," Grace said late Friday.
Hampton indicated investigators were aware "the time factor and unknowns have been very trying on the Miller and Haynes families," adding, "The law enforcement agencies in Carter and Love counties, supported by their state and federal law enforcement partners, want to provide the families with answers and ultimately bring both Molly and Colt Colt home."
He urged, "Anyone with information related to this case is encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency."