OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The last person known to have seen three people whose bodies were found in a makeshift grave in Oklahoma last month said Friday that one of the three was "hateful and snotty" to her the last time they were together but insisted she had nothing to do with their disappearance 21 years ago.
Wendy Camp, her 6-year-old daughter and a sister-in-law disappeared May 29, 1992, and their bodies were found last month. DNA tests are pending, but investigators are confident they've found the three females.
Camp's mother-in-law, Beverly Noe, is the last known person to have seen the three alive. Noe, 66, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that she dropped them off at a Wal-Mart store in Chandler and never saw them again. Authorities found the bodies on property 45 miles away in Jennings that once belonged to Noe's brother and mother.
"I figure somebody picked them up, but I don't have a clue who," Noe said. "I don't know how they got back to his property. I would wonder how they got there. I really don't know how they got there. It is odd. I'd agree to that."
Investigators found the bodies after Noe's brother Grover Prewitt Jr. directed authorities to the property. According to an affidavit, Prewitt told investigators that he dug the hole for a septic tank and that after the two women and the girl disappeared, his mother asked him to file it in and sprinkle the ground with pepper to cover up any odor. His mother died in 2011.
Noe, who has not been charged with a crime, has told investigators repeatedly since 1992 that she picked up the three in Oklahoma City so Camp could visit a son she had had with Noe's son Chad. She said she had agreed to return the three to their homes that evening but stopped in Chandler after a fight over how Camp's son Jonathan was being treated.
"I said, 'This is it. Get out,'" Noe told the AP. She said Camp was being "hateful and snotty" but that she now regrets not taking them the rest of the way.
Prewitt was charged Thursday with being an accessory after the fact of first-degree murder, but no one has been charged in the killings. An agent with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation filed an affidavit suggesting Prewitt sabotaged attempts to elicit incriminating statements from his sister. He was held at the Creek County jail, though intake clerks couldn't be reached Friday to determine whether he had posted a bond or obtained a lawyer.
Agent Melissa Gann wrote that Prewitt suspected his sister and mother, Ida Prewitt, killed Camp, 23; Cynthia Britto, 6; and Lisa Kregear, 22.
"There ain't no way he should have dragged me in," Noe said Friday. "I think it's to save his skin."
Noe said that their mother did not mention the missing three as she lay dying of esophegal cancer.
Noe and her mother served a short prison term for arson and insurance fraud in 2006-07, court records show. Noe said she could have fought the allegations, but "I went for my stupid mother." The arson charge was filed about a year after a filing was made under Noe's name in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tulsa.
In the criminal count lodged against Prewitt, Creek County District Attorney Max Cook alleges he helped his mother and other family members avoid prosecution and punishment for three murders, but the closest that agents have come to implicating anyone in the females' deaths is acknowledging in an affidavit that they targeted Noe in a wiretapping effort that went awry.
Typically, investigators won't release names unless someone has been arrested or charged, but the agency believed it was appropriate in this case, a spokeswoman said.
"We're putting in there what Grover said. You have to provide some information to prove to the judge that you believe you have the right person for that charge," said Jessica Brown, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
So far, Prewitt, 60, is the only person with a direct connection to the women's deaths and is the only one charged with any crime.
"He took us to where they were buried," Brown said.
Forensic tests are still pending on the bodies to determine how the victims died. While DNA testing has not been completed, agents are confident the bodies found are those of the missing people; clothing, a backpack and a wallet with an ID card match the belongings the women had with them when they left Oklahoma City.