The state medical examiner Monday released the cause of death for Carina Saunders as “violent death,” but gave no details of how the young woman died.
Spokeswoman Amy Elliott said an autopsy report, which would include details about the condition of Saunders' body, “may be completed in the next two weeks.”
Saunders, 19, was found Oct. 13, dismembered and stuffed inside a duffel bag behind a grocery store at NW 23 and Rockwell.
Elliott said the manner of death for Saunders is listed as homicide and the cause as “violent death.”
Bethany Police Chief Phil Cole said the homicide investigation is ongoing and he expects “to bring all involved to justice.”
Several people have been identified with connections to the case, but nobody has been charged with murder.
Cole said it is the biggest case in his 22 years in Bethany.
“There's just been so many people to interview to get the truth ... to try and separate what they've heard with what really happened,” Cole said. “But I think, and this is the truth, that we have a lot of information that's going to wrap this up.”
Informants are key
A confidential witness told police that Jimmy Lee Massey, 33, kidnapped her and forced her to watch the torture and slaying of Saunders.
Massey is being held in the Oklahoma County jail on unrelated charges. He has been implicated in drug- and human-
Cole described Massey as “absolutely a suspect,” but said investigators continue to work the case.
Michael “Monster” Knight also has been implicated in the homicide, although Cole says he's not a suspect.
“I've heard the name,” the police chief said. “He's someone we've talked to and gotten information from, but he's not a suspect at this point.”
Court documents reveal that Knight, 27, told a woman named Rachel to clean up the apartment where Saunders was killed.
Knight, who police describe as a violent member of the South Side Locos street gang, is being held in the Oklahoma County jail on other charges.
In December, police searched Knight's apartment at 1691 Heyman, removing a machete with a 20-inch blade, a piece of linoleum tile and a towel with a dark stain on it. A BlackBerry, a roll of black electrical tape and traps from the kitchen and bathroom sinks also were seized.
Investigators searching the property found the residence abandoned a few days before Christmas, the smell of bleach thick in the air. Blood, hair and bugs were found in a freezer inside the apartment. Blood also was detected in the living room and a bedroom, records show.
According to the Department of Corrections website, Knight is 6 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 280 pounds. Court documents show he has the word “Monster” tattooed across his chest.
Cole said many of the witnesses involved have fearsome reputations on the streets. “I think that's safe to say,” he said. “That's made it hard to get information, in some instances, about this case.”