The former boyfriend of a Cordell woman was arrested Monday night in Texas in her death, more than seven years after she went missing.
Ronnie Dean Denny Jr., 35, is charged with first-degree murder even though the victim’s body still has not been located.
The victim, Melissa Sue Flores, was 27 when she went missing in January 2007.
Oklahoma’s multicounty grand jury indicted Denny on Thursday after new information surfaced in the case. He was arrested about 10:30 p.m. Monday at his home in Princeton, Texas, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced Tuesday.
Denny for years denied involvement in the disappearance even though Flores’ mother found her daughter’s car outside his Cordell home. Inside the car were Flores’ purse and cellphone. She had told her family in a phone call she had slept over at her former boyfriend’s home.
“OSBI asked me if I killed Melissa. I told them straight up, ‘No, I had nothing to do with her disappearance,’” Denny told The Oklahoman in 2010.
The OSBI said Tuesday its agents “have been working the murder case for numerous years.” Agents interviewed Denny again after his arrest Monday night.
The indictment remains sealed from the public until Denny makes his first court appearance on the murder case in Oklahoma.
So-called “no body” cases are extremely rare and harder to prove.
In one of the most infamous, an Oklahoma County jury in 1983 convicted pilot Gary Lee Rawlings of first-degree murder in the disappearance of his ex-wife. Prosecutors put on evidence he had abducted his ex-wife, killed her and dumped her body from an airplane into the Gulf of Mexico in 1982.
In another infamous case, an Oklahoma County judge dismissed in the middle of the trial the murder charge against former truck driver Royal Russell Long. Prosecutors alleged he killed two Oklahoma City girls who disappeared from the state fair in 1981. The judge ruled the evidence “was not even sufficient to show the girls were dead.”