BETHANY — Two years after their daughter was butchered, Richard Saunders and Margie Queen want to “reawaken” investigators in hopes the case will be solved.
Carina Saunders was killed in October 2011. Her dismembered body was found in duffel bags behind a grocery store.
Queen said the past two years have been unbearable, with all the twists and turns the case has taken.
“It's been the huge hole that her absence has left, an aching hole,” Queen said. “We've been through major mental issues for me and the whole family. What's been hardest is not having answers.”
Bethany police initially handled the investigation into the death of the 19-year-old. Nine months after Saunders' body was found they arrested Luis E. Ruiz, now 39, and Jimmy Lee Massey Jr., now 35.
In February, the case was handed over to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the murder charges against Ruiz and Massey were dropped due to insufficient evidence.
Queen said it was shocking to see the two men released because Bethany police had seemed so confident.
But OSBI officials insisted there was not enough evidence to support the charges.
“I'm more upset at the time about who to trust,” she said. “Who's telling the truth or who do we believe?”
Ruiz has been arrested twice in the past month on complaints of possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a controlled dangerous substance, according to court documents.
On Sept. 24, a security guard at 2828 SW 59 found a clear plastic bag containing methamphetamine at Ruiz's feet and police were called, records show.
On Wednesday, a stolen pickup was found at 1224 SE 51. Ruiz was inside the home, and a key to the vehicle and less than a half-gram of methamphetamine was found in his pockets, during a search, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Ruiz also was arrested in May when the car he was driving was reported stolen, court records show.
Richard Saunders said he wishes the OSBI had handled his daughter's case from the beginning.
“It was a high-profile case and Bethany, being a suburb of Oklahoma City, I don't think they had the manpower or the technical faculty to take care of this kind of case with the forensics or manpower to go out and search,” he said.
“It was too widespread from the beginning, and I think it should have been a higher agency to take it from the beginning.”
Queen said she is concerned how long it has been since there has been progress in the case.
She doesn't want people to forget about her daughter.
“I think it's good to talk about, to reawaken people,” she said. “It might get people to get up and start doing things again and take it seriously because those people are still out there.
“We have these killers out there, these monsters that have basically gotten away with murder.”
Matt Dinger, Staff Writer
We have these killers out there, these monsters that have basically gotten away with murder.”
Carina Saunders' mother